16 January 2018, Tuesday, 22:22

Russia takes Belarusian export under control


Belarus will give the country’s export under Russia's control after redirecting the traffic of goods to Russian ports.

Belarus's decision to redirect the country's shipments to Russian Baltic Sea ports  was voluntary without any political pressure on the country, Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Uladzimir Syamashka recently said commenting on Alyaksandr Lukashenka's statement on the readiness to redirect the traffic exported goods to the ports of Leningrad Oblast. He explained the re-orientation of cargo flows would allow to diversify political and economic risks, Interfax news agency reports.

Syamashka said the re-orientation would be possible after Russia offered a “comprehensive approach”.

Belarusian experts suppose that exporters from Belarus will face new risks if the decision is fulfilled.

“Belarusian cargo shippers working in Baltic Sea ports in Klaipeda and Ventspils have well-functioning transshipment schemes and reliable stevedoring companies able to monitor goods traffic without outside control. If Belarusian companies have to work with Russian ports, they will lose this advantage,” a representative of a relevant agency said.  

He noted that “physical control over transshipment of Belarusian exported goods may in fact go to Russian companies and become dependent on decisions of Russian governmental agencies.”

“There is a risk that it may be used as a tool of pressure, leverage in complicated and conflict situations that occur in Moscow-Misnk relations from time to time despite the fact that the countries made declarative statements on termination of trade wars,” he said.

The source noted that in reality stevedoring companies have opportunities to slow down or hasten transshipment processes depending on a policy of governmental agencies, state corporations or large companies.

Representatives of Belarusian oil refineries, for their part, draw attention to the fact that Russia will have the opportunity to control both the volume and classification of exported cargo if the export of oil products is redirected from teh ports of the Baltic states to Russian ports.