Just days after neighbors Belarus and Russia avoided a breakdown in relations regarding gas supply prices, arguments have reignited over the issue of Russian oil transportation through Belarus territory.
According to reports, Belarus officials have attempted to impose a $45 per tonne custom duty on the Russian crude oil piped through their territory. However, Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft has rejected the move, stating that Belarus had no right to impose such a duty, Reuters has reported.
Belarus cannot impose any export or additional transit duty, because the oil belongs to Russia, Transneft vice-president Sergei Grigoryev told Reuters. Mr Grigoryev added that to establish such a custom charge would require the agreement of the Kremlin.
The move from Belarus comes just days after it avoided the suspension of Russian gas supplies by agreeing to double the price it paid for the imports to $100 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas.