Refineries to recover losses from Russia’s tax manoeuvre by rising motor fuel prices

March 20, 2017 10:29

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.

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Death penalty discussion in Belarus: yet not ready for either abolition or moratorium
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The Belarusian authorities have launched a discussion on the moratorium or abolition of the death penalty under the pressure of Belarusian human rights activists and international community. Apparently, the authorities are interested in monitoring public sentiments and response to the possible abolition of the capital punishment. The introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty would depend on the dynamics in Belarusian-European relations, efforts of the civil society organisations and Western capitals.

In Grodno last week, the possibility of abolishing the death penalty in Belarus or introducing a moratorium was discussed.

The Belarusian authorities are likely to continue to support the death penalty in Belarus. During his rule, President Lukashenka pardoned only one person, and courts sentenced to death more than 400 people since the early 1990s. Over the past year, Belarusian courts sentenced to death several persons and one person was executed.

There are no recent independent polls about people’s attitude about the death penalty in Belarus. Apparently, this issue is not a priority for the population. In many ways, public opinion about the abolition of the death penalty would depend on the tone of the state-owned media reports.

That said, the Belarusian Orthodox Church and the Roman-Catholic Church stand for the abolition of the capital punishment, however their efforts in this regard only limit to public statements about their stance. Simultaneously, the authorities could have influenced public opinion about the death penalty through a focused media campaign in the state media. As they did, for example, with the nuclear power plant construction in Astravets. Initially unpopular project of the NPP construction was broadly promoted in the state media, and eventually, according to independent pollsters, was accepted by most population.