Belarus Officials Fly to Russia for Oil Talks
Published: 05 January 2010
The Belarusian-Russian oil conflict once again demonstrates the fact that relations between both countries are far from what could have been called friendly. All the declarations of “eternal Slavic brotherhood” vanish once real money gets involved. The fight about eventual Russian oil duties has burst out just several days after the pompous establishing of the Customs union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan. This may only be a signal that this post-Soviet integration initiative is the same farce as its uncountable predecessors.
Russia wants to reshape its relations with Belarus and make them more market-based. The Belarusian officials are trying to retain Russian financial preferences that create a huge annual flow of cash into the pockets of the Belarusian government. In any case, in the mid-term Belarus will inevitably have to accept that expensive oil and gas is the price it has to pay for a real and sound independence from Russia.
MINSK, Jan 5 (Reuters) – Belarus sent a delegation to Moscow on Tuesday for talks to resolve an oil dispute that has disrupted crude shipments to Belarussian refineries and raised the spectre of winter supply problems for the European Union.
“The delegation will fly today,” Belarussian government spokesman Alexander Timoshenko said by telephone, adding that the delegation included the head of Belarus’s Belneftekhim state oil company, Valery Kazakevich.