Belarus' position on oil product duties ungrounded - Russian deputy PM

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The position of Minsk on the levying of duties on Russian oil products supplied to Belarus has no legal basis, a Russian first deputy prime minister said Tuesday.

The position of Minsk on the levying of duties on Russian oil products supplied to Belarus has no legal basis, a Russian first deputy prime minister said Tuesday.

The CIS Economic Court ruled on Tuesday that Moscow and Minsk must come to an out-of-court agreement within one month on a dispute over Russian oil product export duties.

"We have believed from the start that there is no legal basis for resolving the case in Minsk's favor," said Igor Shuvalov, who supervises issues of the Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan in the Russian government.

"We insist that our position is right and based on international treaties signed during the establishment of the Customs Union," he said.

CIS Economic Court Chairman Faizullo Abdulloyev said if the countries did not come to an agreement before October 7, the court would consider the case on its merits.

The court dismissed a request from Belarus that Russia be prohibited from levying export duties on oil products until the end of the dispute.

Belarus claims oil product export duties contradict several international agreements and have led to considerable economic losses both for Belarus, and for Russia.

The Customs Union between Russian, Belarus and Kazakhstan became fully operational in early July, when the three countries ratified the Customs Code. The countries plan to scrap their customs borders on July 1, 2011.

MOSCOW, September 7 (RIA Novosti)

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