30 Oct 2018 11:58

No need for prohibitive duty if oil cos keep gasoline prices in check - Novak

MOSCOW. Oct 30 (Interfax) - There will be no need for an extreme measure such as a prohibitive duty if oil companies keep prices at filling stations in check and honor their commitments, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters.

"We're working with the oil companies on instructions from Dmitry Anatolyevich [Medvedev, the Russian prime minister]. We'll work on joint plans for solutions. If prices are kept in check and the companies honor their commitments, then such extreme measures will not be needed," Novak said, commenting on the possibility that a prohibitive duty on oil and petroleum products might be imposed.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a meeting on the development of Russian Railways (RZD) on Monday that he may give orders for prohibitive duties to be introduced on oil and oil products to resolve the situation with fuel prices. "I would like the Energy Ministry to hold consultations with our oil companies in the next few days. We reached an agreement that a work plan would be adopted and a specific agreement to support current prices for oil products on the domestic market," Medvedev said. "Or I will be forced to sign a decision to introduce prohibitive duties on oil and oil products in the near future to make the market situation more stable," he said. The prime minister said that "despite the measures taken, a rise in the price of gasoline is being seen in a number of cases."

First Deputy Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak told reporters on Monday evening following a meeting with oil companies in St. Petersburg that there was a "strong" likelihood that a prohibitive duty on oil and petroleum products will be introduced perhaps as soon as next week. "This could be introduced literally next week. The law gives us the power, the government has this and such a decision might be reached," Kozak said.