Lukashenka hits out at Russia for its tax move

Alyaksandr Lukashenka attacked the Russian government for its decision to sharply raise its tax on the extraction of natural resources, a move that is expected to increase the price of crude for the two Belarusian oil refineries.

"Such behavior is often dubbed 'imperial ambitions' in former republics of the Soviet Union. And how else can it be called?" he told a group of Russian journalists in Minsk on Friday.

He also criticized the requirement that Belarus transfer to the Russian treasury the entire revenues from export duties on petroleum products made from Russian crude oil.

"We sell them on market terms, where they will pay more. [Russia] saw that and decided that we earned too much, we bought oil and sold in the West," he said.

"They said that it was a special commodity and told us to transfer our export duties on petroleum products to them. What kind of customs union is that?"

An agreement was reached earlier this month whereby Belarus will not be required to share revenues from the export duties with Russia, at least not in 2015. // BelaPAN