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Minsk, Moscow Yet to Finalize Agreement on Russian Oil Transit

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According to the Belarusian Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade, Minsk and Moscow have not reached an agreement on the transit of Russian oil so far.

MINSK (Sputnik) — The Belarusian Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade (MART) said Thursday it had failed so far to reach a final agreement with Moscow on the transit of Russian oil through Belarus in 2017.

"The Belarusian and Russian state bodies responsible for tariffs regulation have not yet agreed on the amount of tariffs indexation," the Belarusian Belta state news agency reported citing the ministry.

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Oleg Lyashenko, the chief executive of the Belarusian state oil concern Belneftekhim, said in late December that Belarusian authorities wanted to raise the tariff by 20.5 percent, while Russia set the ceiling at 5.5 percent.

Russia and Belarus are also in months-long talks on the price of Russian gas deliveries. Moscow says Minsk owes it $281 million for gas. Belarus refuses to pay off the debt, which is one of Russia’s main conditions for restoring oil supplies to it, another one being lower tariffs for oil transit.

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