19 January 2018, Friday, 22:20

Barys Zhaliba: Russia demands privatization


The decrease in the shipments of Russian oil is a demand to sell out Belarusian property more actively, the economist believes.

“Different messages come about the negotiations. What is important is that they are not over yet and will be held until the beginning of the next year. We remember, that some of such talks ended on 31 December with the Kremlin clocks chiming in the background”, - a Belarusian economist Barys Zhaliba said in an interview to the charter97.org web-site.

According to the expert, the decrease in shipments of Russian oil can lead to the deficiency of foreign currency like it was in 2011:

“Moscow threatens with underloading of our two refineries and this would lead to shortage of foreign currency brought in from export. Because oil products from Russian oil, it is well known, is the main exports article. This threatens us with the condition that we will not be able to export the oil that we extract in Belarus and the export duties from which go to our budget, but not the Russian one. Because of that our balance of trade can again become chronically negative and it will all cause pressure on the currency market. The foreign currency deficiency that we had in 2011 can come back again”.

Russia wants to make Belarus actively sell out the state property, the economist believes:

“This is pressure from Moscow on the Belarus’ leadership which has its main implication in forcing official Minsk to more actively proceed with the privatization of the state property and fulfill its obligations in the framework of the anti-crisis loan condition – namely, to privatize state property for a total amount of $2.5 billion. And the consumer is obvious – it is Russian capital”.

We would remind that it has become known today that a Belarusian delegation headed by first vice Prime Minister Uladzimir Siamashka, which has been negotiating the oil balance with Russia for 2013, did not succeed to agree on next  years’ import in the amount of 23 million tons of oil. In 2013 Russia will ship not more than 18 million tons of oil to Belarus.