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Russia, Belarus Discuss Oil Deliveries Amid Pricing Dispute

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin (left) meets with Belarusian counterpart Syarhey Rumas in Moscow on March 11.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has spoken with his Belarusian counterpart, Syarhey Rumas, about oil deliveries as they seek to resolve a three-month price dispute between the two countries.

Mishustin's office said on March 21 in a statement that the two had "noted the achievement of fundamental agreements" on cooperation in the oil sphere that -- if carried out -- would allow Russia to deliver oil to Belarusian refineries.

Minsk and Moscow have been at odds since the start of the year, when they failed to agree on terms for oil deliveries in 2020. Some Russian oil companies suspended oil shipments to Belarus.

Russia had been supplying crude oil to Belarus with no export fee under a trade deal between the two countries.

However, Russia amended its Tax Code in 2019 and damaged the profitability of Belarusian refineries -- some of the country's most important companies -- sparking anger in Minsk.

Russian tycoon Mikhail Gutseriyev, who owns Russneft and Neftisoy, has been supplying the Belarusian refineries in the meantime until a solution to the pricing problem is found.

With reporting by Interfax and Reuters
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