On September 15 Alexander Lukashenko will meet in Sochi with his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin. The meeting is urgent, for the relations between the two countries have seriously deteriorated over the past fortnight, while in Belarus they arrested the stock of the oil refinery, which belongs to “Slavneft” and ceased export of Russian oil abroad. Experts assume that by so doing Lukashenko is trying to avoid Russian ruble’s circulation on the country’s territory.
On September 3 the Economic court of Grodno region placed arrest on “Slavneft’s” 15% of shares of “Mozyr refinery”.
Almost in no time after that the Russian oil supplies to Belarus faced problems too. On September 11 “Lukoil”, “Yukos”, “Sibneft” and “Slavneft” received official notifications on the limitation of their export supplies to the far west.
The Russian companies faced sanctions shortly after Putin and Lukashenko exchanged missives. The Russian president urged Lukashenko to launch Russian ruble on January 1, 2005 as the sole means of payment on the territories of the two states. In response, Lukashenko actually declined to follow suit, noting that Russia failed to comply with the intermediary agreements: such as VAT payments to the Belarusian budget, reimbursement of the tax systems’ unification’s losses, compensation for Belarus’ refusal to issue national currency, guarantees of 30bln cubic meters of gas supplies at Russia’s internal prices.