Belarus staves off ‘privatisation’ pressure from the Kremlin

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April 22, 2016 18:54

Moscow hosted another round of negotiations between Belarus’ First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and Dmitry Rogozin, to discuss joint integration projects and the implementation of mutually beneficial arrangements for the supply of oil and petroleum products.

The Kremlin has placed conditions for providing oil preferences to Belarus, such as the privatisation of Belarus’ state assets by Russian companies within the Eurasian integration. Moscow is also toying with the option of receiving compensation for losses from reduced Russo-Ukrainian cooperation in the military-industrial sphere by involving the Belarusian defence industry in joint projects. This also interests Minsk. In turn, Belarus is interested in swiftly introducing competitive conditions for economic entities (as of January 1st, 2015 Russian companies can use budgetary subsidies to purchase Belarusian equipment). In Minsk’s viewpoint, this will enable domestic producers to unload their stock. Meanwhile, with the Kremlin busy with dealing with the ‘Ukrainian’ issue, Minsk is successfully delaying the privatisation process.

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