14 Jan 2020 17:29

Belarusian budget not receiving oil export revenue, but no need for extreme measures - MinFin

MINSK. Jan 14 (Interfax) - The Belarusian budget has not received any oil export revenue since the beginning of the year, but there is no need for extreme measures, Finance Minister Maxim Yermolovich told journalists in Minsk on Tuesday.

"There is no export revenue from oil for the budget right now. But there's no need yet to talk about any changes to the annual level of revenues. We are operating as normal," he said.

"No decisions have been reached" to amend the 2020 budget. "There's no need for any extreme measures," he said.

He said a lot of funds had been carried over thanks to the 2019 budget surplus. "We fulfilled the2019 budget better than we planned and we were quite well prepared to begin the 2020 fiscal year both from the point of view of the availability of cash and ruble liquidity on the accounts of banks and the National Bank. The situation is fairly positive," he said.

Belarus has not exported oil because its own refineries have hardly received any from Russia since January 1. Supply contracts have not been signed with Russian oil companies because Belarus does not consider it expedient to pay a premium to suppliers with Russian crude becoming more expensive due to the tax maneuver.

Belarus had a central budget surplus of 3.8 billion rubles Belarusian rubles of 3.2% of GDP in January-November 2019. A deficit 0f 0.7% of GDP is planned for 2020.