Kremlin: Russian government lost trust in Belarus 

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that the Russian Federation has lost trust in Belarus. 

According to him, this is due to the fact that Belarus has been violating the Russian-Belarusian customs regime, including the import of sanctioned and excisable goods into the Russian Federation. 

“We keep telling Belarus that they are our neighbor, our ally, but we have recently lost trust in Belarus. All those solvents, sanctioned products that come to us, excisable goods, cigarettes that fill our markets,” TASS quotes Siluanov as saying. 

According to him, Belarus does not fully comply with the terms of the 1999 Union Treaty, which provided for developing a unified tax, customs, monetary, excise and economic policy. “All these are elements of our joint treaty of 1999. Everything is spelled out there, but Belarus does not comply with the terms,” he said. As an example, he pointed to the lack of a single currency in the two countries. 

In addition, he said that Russia is ready to provide Belarusian oil refineries with compensation only if they fulfill their commitments within the framework of the Union State and strive for full integration of the economies of the two countries. 

“The tax maneuver is our internal affair. If you want us to create the same conditions for your refineries, let’s make it go both ways. Let’s unify the excise policy. We have low confidence in your customs’ work – let our customs officers work together with them, let get info exchange data up and running,” Siluanov said. 

According to him, Belarus asks Russia to provide a compensation of $ 2 billion per year for Belarusian refineries. However, Russia is not ready for such compensation, which is due to the great number of projects in Russia and the need to implement national projects. 

“We are speaking about huge amounts of money - this is the cost of integration. Of course, we are ready to pay but we would like to see reciprocal steps. We need to understand why we should provide compensation to our ally, our best neighbor, a very close one. Under conditions of our needs, national projects, restrictions and debt,” the Russian minister said. 

  Russia, Belarus, Siluanov, Russian Finance Ministry