Belarus will keep circa USD 1.5 billion from export duties on oil products until 2025
On November 28th, the Council of the Republic approved amendments to the intergovernmental agreement on payments and transfer of export duties on oil products. Belarus will be able to keep roughly USD 125 million in her budget each month, but not more than USD 1.5 billion a year. If oil prices drop below USD 70/barrel, Belarus’ proceeds will drop and she will need additional funds to repay her public debt. The government is anticipated to continue negotiations with Russia in order to receive better compensation for Russia’s grand tax manoeuvre in the petrochemical industry. When the intergovernmental agreement is ratified, Belarus will still have the possibility to resume her export schemes with antioxidants and bituminous mixtures and increase their export volumes in order to compensate for the lower oil price and lower profitability of the industry.
President Lukashenka has met with the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, who visited Minsk and the Minsk Automobile Plant. Minsk has always sought to have independent links with Russian regional elites, partially, to compensate for the Kremlin's diminishing interest in Belarus. In recent years, Belarus’ contacts with the Russian regions have been extremely intense. However, with some leaders of Russian regions, primarily heads of large republics, communication was more difficult to build. As many analysts in Minsk suggested, Minsk could regard contacts between President Lukashenka and the head of Chechnya as an additional communication channel for relieving tension in relations with the Kremlin. However, most likely, a trusting relationship with Kadyrov is a value for Minsk as such, provided Kadyrov’s broad business and political interests, and a high degree of autonomy for the Chechen leader from the Kremlin.