Refineries to recover losses from Russia’s tax manoeuvre by rising motor fuel prices
Belneftekhim is starting a gradual increase in the motor fuel price due to the deteriorated terms of oil supply from Russia to Belarus and the growth in oil prices on the world market. Fuel prices in Belarus remained unchanged for two years, Russia’s tax manoeuvre has led to an increase in the oil price for Belarus by USD 23.7 per tonne in 2017, while oil supply to Belarus in 2017 is estimated at 16 million tons. The Belarusian refineries are likely to gradually increase the motor fuel price by BYN 0.4 per litre in total in order to compensate for the losses, deteriorated financial health of oil refining and a decrease in fuel sales at a discount price to agribusiness enterprises. The modernisation of the refinery and the possible reduction in oil supplies to Belarus to 12 million tons could increase refinery’s needs and lead to a more significant increase in the fuel price in 2017.
The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.
Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.
Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.
In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.