Is that the price of tax maneuver compensation?
Experts express their opinions on the reasons that motivated Moscow to start new oil negotiations with Minsk. According to political observer Aliaksandr Klaskouski, the initiative of the Russian authorities is a very shaky compromise that does not solve the problem. In addition, it's unknown what official Minsk is ready to do in response.
Salidarnasts has studied the latest publications concerning the oil statements of the Kremlin and Lukashenka in the Russian media.
The Kommersant newspaper notes with cautious optimism that "there is obvious progress in the negotiations between the parties, due to which oil supplies to Belarus may start in March".
At the same time, the newspaper stresses that the benefit from Moscow's concessions to Minsk as a result turned out to be symbolic. The newspaper quotes an expert Dmitry Marinchenko from Fitch, who believes that "the premium to the export parity of $2 per ton is a value at the level of statistical error, only $0.3 cents per barrel, and it will not lead to any significant savings for Belarus".
The Izvestia newspaper quotes opinions of Russian experts on the reasons for the Kremlin's compliancy. In particular, the head of the analytical department of AMarkets, Artem Deev, emphasizes that Minsk made a statement after the visit of Rosneft head Igor Sechin to Belarus:
- It's quite possible that he expressed the interest of the Russian side in the purchase of Belarusian refineries. If they belong to the oil companies of Russia, it will remove all questions about the supply of hydrocarbons, while Belarus will always be provided with petroleum products for the domestic market.
By purchasing Belarusian refineries, the expert adds, Russia is solving the issue of competition in the European market.
- In this case the $300 million compensation to Belarus is a small fee for good and profitable prospects for the Russian oil industry," - the source of Izvestia explained.