Belarusian Oil Refinery is detrimental
Regardless of the benefits provided by the government to the refineries, Naftan and Mozyr refineries topped the list of the most unprofitable businesses with a net loss in the first half of 2011 of Br 205.6 billion and Br 184.306 billion respectively.
Concern “Belneftekhim” has reported that almost half of its enterprises have reached positive trade balance of over $ 2 billion and met all the planned goals.
The average rate of premium to Russian oil suppliers during the first half of 2011 amounted to about $ 6 per 1 barrel, or more than $ 44 per 1 ton (increased by 4 times). The Belarusian authorities believe it puts the Belarusian refiners in unequal working conditions within the EEA and makes refining at Belarusian enterprises unprofitable.
Regardless of the abolition of export duties on Russian oil Belarusian oil refineries could not make profits, which reduced their attractiveness to investors significantly.
With regard to the positive balance of $ 2 billion reported by “Belneftekhim”, it is not quite true. The concern management is manipulating figures, in particular, while calculating the balance in the composition of export earnings it also accounted for export duty on oil products, which Belarus is obliged to transfer to Russia. Bearing this in mind, in the first half of 2011 “Belneftekhim” should have paid to the Federal Budget over $ 1.2 billion, which implies the real trade surplus of the concern is about $ 800 million
Last week, Belarusian Foreign Minister Makei participated in the foreign ministers’ meeting of the Eastern Partnership and Visegrad Group initiative hosted by Warsaw. The Belarusian FM emphasized Belarus' interest in cooperation in the transport sector, which could be due to Belarus’ desire to export electricity surplus after Belarus finished construction of the nuclear power plant in Ostrovets. Minsk expressed concerns about Warsaw’s stance on the Belarusian NPP, as it refused to buy electricity from Belarus and supported Vilnius’ protest on this issue. Following accusations by the Belarusian leadership and the state media against western states, including Poland, of training "nationalist militants", Minsk did not agree on the visit of the European Parliament deputies from Lithuania and Germany to Belarus and to the NPP construction site near Ostrovets in particular. In addition, the Belarusian authorities have stepped up efforts to enforce education in Russian in Polish-language schools in Grodno and Vaukavysk. Should a rift in Belarusian-Polish relations persist, the Belarusian authorities are likely to step up the pressure on the Polish-speaking minority in Belarus.