Masonettes curtain. What to expect from a trade war between Russia and Belarus?

Moves President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and restrictions of food supplies in Russia were forced to talk about the beginning of a trade war between the two brotherly countries. What are the reasons and how far is too far Belarus and Russia, understood Aephi.

How to talk to Minsk?

The causes of the dispute

“Relations with the West and other political issues here at anything, it’s pure disputes of economic entities, — says Alexander Ranges, the head of expert group of the Russian Union of Industrialists and entrepreneurs, RSPP representative in the Republic of Belarus. — Now there are too many claims”.

The main complaints associated with oil and gas. Since Soviet times in Belarus hosted a powerful oil refineries, but without Russian oil to work they can’t. Russia to supply oil to Belarus profitable: obtained from petroleum is cheaper than Russian. Under the agreement, the Belarusians do not pay for the oil export duties. However, Belarus exports gasoline to the West and the fee for it takes. It turns out, the petroleum products go to Europe, the income received by the Belarusian budget. But not Russian.

How much oil Russia supplies to Belarus and why is it important?

Talks about how much oil Russia will supply to Belarus on preferential terms and how to get gasoline whenever you are tense. In parallel, there is a dispute on gas. Belarus believes that in the framework of the Union state (which, according to all experts, in fact, does not exist) “Gazprom” has to supply gas at Russian prices. The Corporation does not agree. Belarus itself is underpaid for gas and owe in 2016, 340 million dollars. In response, Russia has cut oil supply: from 5.5 million tons to 3.5 million tons in the quarter, and at the end of the year to 3 million tons. This has already led to a marked reduction in the production of gasoline, diesel fuel, fuel oil and kerosene to Belarusian refineries.

Another stumbling block products. Russian agrarians Belarusian imports are unhappy and often talk about the need to “Belorusskaya”. With the introduction of the Russian embargo on Western food situation deteriorated through Belarus sanctions act, among other things, the goods. “Belorussizatsiya” of prohibited imports is supported at the highest level: Lukashenka insisted that the Belarusian importers do not glue labels to release a new product.


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That we have to buy?

“Russia supplies to Belarus mainly oil and gas, — says Alexander Knobel, Director of the research Center of international trade Ranhigs. — But our imports from the neighboring country more diverse. We import from Belarus not only food supplies, supply of engineering products is also a significant amount.”

However, the products still occupy more than one third of Belarusian exports to Russia: this is the biggest cost (in US dollars) of his article. From Belarus to carry us meat, milk, vegetables, potatoes, kvass, honey, beer, and the famous Belarusian mussels and tropical fruits. Import of heavy trucks, tractors, bearings, machine tools slightly less: about a quarter of supplies. More than 10% — the Belarusian chemical industry products: fibers, yarns, ammonia, tires. Next is household appliances, televisions, wood and woodshaving plates. Gasoline, kerosene, diesel and fuel oil is the least of our imports.

According to Belstat, Belarus in 2016, has increased the export of finished meat products to Russia, potatoes and wheat steel we sell 4 times more. But fell sharply the volume of supply of exotic fruits — 45-60% — significantly decreased the import of Belarusian vegetables, and milk and dairy products (except cheese and cottage cheese).

We sell them?

Russian supplies to the fraternal consist of oil and gas by more than half. On the second place — approximately 10% for each category — engineering (machines, equipment, our cars), chemical industry products (fertilizers and synthetic rubber), metals (steel sheets, aluminum, cast iron, ferrous scrap). Russian products, textiles and footwear share the remaining 10%.


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What have we banned?

The list “Belarusian thepresence” is spreading: the Rosselkhoznadzor published a list on the packaging of products, carrying the risk of spread of African swine fever (ASF). In the list of goods for which separate permits are required for import include live swine, fresh, chilled or frozen pork, edible offal of pigs and pork fat, sausages and similar products of meat, meat offal or blood, cold flour, wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, soybeans, feed vegetable flour, pasta, stuffed, containing sausage, meat, meat offal or blood, processed cheese, etc.

Additional permissions are required even for the import of equipment and attachments for transport, breeding, temporary overexposure animals and transportation of animal products used, as well as hunting trophies and stuffed.

The Belarusian patriotism, and anti-Russian soil

What’s next?

“Russian exports to Belarus is approximately 4%, but Russia, in Belarus — about 50%, — says Alexander Ranges. — Of course, we won’t sever all ties. But the divorce showed that the century-old fraternal relationships break down very easily. We again step on the same rake… Belarusian milk to stop us? So Russia is underproduction of milk! Meat prevented? In fact, driving a wedge between the pillars of the Russian world, and we are at this fun throw each other with mud!”

“In Europe, they do not go away: EU is not up to Belarus and to Ukraine, it is bursting at the seams, — says Alexander Mikhailenko, Professor at the Department of foreign policy activity of Russia, Ranepa. — Expectations gap have already a long history, but the Russian-Belarusian relations in the end it survived all the moves Lukashenko. According to some aspects of Belarus offers even tighter integration than in the Eurasian economic Union. Disagreements are allowed, but inevitable some mutual concessions. The fact that neither at the stage of free trade area, nor on the stage of the Customs Union, nor at the stage of the EurAsEC equal competitive conditions for participants in Russia is not created. From the point of view of the problems of economic integration Lukashenko, right, and all these issues need to be resolved. However, we are in a better position: the share of Russia accounts for up to 95% of Belarusian meat and dairy exports. Therefore, the threat of closure of the Russian market creates a platform for bargaining with Minsk”.

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