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Belarus Announces Increased Transit Fees for Russian Oil


Belarus says it plans to raise transit fees later this month by more than 30 percent on Russian oil pumped through Belarusian territory to western Europe.

Just weeks ago Moscow more than doubled the price of natural gas sold to its western neighbor. Authorities in Minsk say the Belarusian hike will take effect February 15.

In an interview Tuesday with Reuters news agency, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko - stung by the Russian price hikes - vowed to recover $5 billion in losses incurred since the Russian increases took effect.

At the height of the dispute, Russia briefly cut off oil supplies in Belarusian pipelines, after accusing Minsk of siphoning oil bound for western Europe.

The stand-off was resolved when Belarus revoked a transit tax it had imposed on Russian oil, and Moscow lowered oil fees it had demanded from Minsk.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP , Reuters and AP.

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