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The Russian government has extended an existing export duty regime for turnover of crude and oil products between Russia and Belarus for 2014, according to a statement posted on a government web site Monday.

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The existing regime provides for Russia to deliver tax-free certain volumes of crude to Belarus for refining.

In turn, Belarus sends an agreed volume of oil products to Russia and reimburses to Moscow export duty it receives from selling of oil products produced from Russian crude on international markets.

In line with previous plans, this regime is to be abolished when Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan agree on a new scheme to regulate shipments of crude and oil products within the Customs Union, of which the three countries are members.

"At present, such an agreement has not been developed, causing the necessity to prolong the existing [tax regime]," the statement said.

Under the current regime, Russia receives some $3 billion-4 billion a year in oil-product reimbursements from Belarus, according to various estimates.

In 2012, the two sides agreed on 21.5 million mt of Russian crude to be shipped to Belarus in return for 5.8 million mt of Belarus oil products being shipped to Russia.

The two countries failed to agree on the 2013 deliveries initially -- because of disagreements over payments and other issues -- and supplies have been agreed on a quarterly basis. Under the latest agreements in early December, Russia is to deliver a total of 20.7 million mt of crude to Belarus in 2013.

Russia's energy ministry expects Moscow and Minsk to agree on the volumes to be supplied in 2014 by mid-December.

--Nadia Rodova,
--Edited by Jonathan Dart,