Minsk sues Russia in post-Soviet bloc court over oil import dutie

13:27, 26 March 2010

Minsk has filed a lawsuit...

Minsk has filed a lawsuit with the post-Soviet bloc economic court against Russia`s decision to charge duties on oil supplied to the ex-Soviet republic and refined for re-export, the Belarusian Justice Ministry said on Thursday, according to RIA Novosti.

"The Justice Ministry has applied to the CIS economic court performing the functions of the EurAsEC [Eurasian Economic Community] court with a lawsuit on the legitimacy of Russia`s decision to charge oil import duties on petroleum and petrochemical products refined from crude supplied to Belarus from Russia," a ministry spokesman said.

Belarus has little hydrocarbon resources and depends on fuel supplies from Russia. Early this year the two ex-Soviet neighbors were involved in a dispute over oil supplies, as Moscow demanded Minsk pay full import duties on crude it refines and resells to Europe, dropping considerable subsidies.

Belarus requested Russia to supply up to 30 million metric tons of oil duty-free, saying it would otherwise increase transit fees for Europe-bound oil.

An array of agreements on crude oil deliveries and uninterrupted transits to Europe was signed in late January, under which Minsk will receive 6.3 million metric tons of oil duty-free this year, but the volume could rise later depending on the country`s economic performance.

RIA Novosti

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