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January 14, 2007 | Jeffrey Fleishman, Times Staff Writer
One turn of a valve can have rippling consequences. The recent oil price dispute between Russia and Belarus has jolted Europe, reviving debates on alternate energy and highlighting the continent's reliance on fuel flowing through the volatile politics enveloping Moscow and the former Soviet republics. The unfolding scenario is a fascinating game of wily players, big business and diplomacy connected by pipelines and exploration projects.
January 13, 2007 | David Holley, Times Staff Writer
Russia and Belarus on Friday resolved a dispute over oil taxes and transit fees that had disrupted energy supplies to European customers, but the harsh tactics used by each side left both countries politically bruised. After two days of negotiations in Moscow, Russia agreed to reduce a newly imposed $180 per metric ton export tax on crude oil sent to Belarus to $53 a ton, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Y. Fradkov said. The rates will rise in 2008 and 2009, he said.
January 10, 2007 | David Holley, Times Staff Writer
A Russian-Belarusian oil dispute that has shut down a key pipeline carrying crude oil to European customers may drag on long enough to force Moscow to cut production, Russian President Vladimir V. Putin said Tuesday. The bitter spat between the longtime allies led to a cutoff Monday in the flow of oil across Belarus, prompting complaints from European officials.
January 9, 2007 | David Holley, Times Staff Writer
A dispute between longtime allies Russia and Belarus over oil taxes escalated Monday, leading to a cutoff in the flow of crude oil through a pipeline serving European customers. Officials in Minsk, the Belarusian capital, issued conflicting statements as to whether Belarus had intentionally cut off the flow of oil through the Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline, which crosses Belarus to link Russia and the European Union.
January 4, 2007
Belarus said it would slap a customs duty of $45 per metric ton on Russian oil pumped across its territory to other nations in Europe. The action came after Belarus averted a Jan. 1 cutoff of Russian natural-gas supplies by grudgingly agreeing to pay twice the previous price this year and more in the future. Belarus' new duty appeared aimed at prompting Russia to scrap new customs fees this year on oil exports to its neighbor.
January 1, 2007 | David Holley, Times Staff Writer
Russia and Belarus announced a last-minute deal on natural gas prices early today, averting the threat of a midwinter disruption of supplies to European customers. Russia's state-controlled gas monopoly, Gazprom, had threatened to cut off the flow of gas for Belarus at 10 a.m. today unless a new contract was signed, although the company said it would still supply other European customers by shipping gas across Belarus through pipelines it owns.
December 30, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Belarus President Alexander G. Lukashenko said he would not tolerate Russian blackmail, as talks started in Moscow on a natural gas dispute. The European Commission and Germany have urged Russia and Belarus to settle their differences quickly. A similar dispute between Russia and Ukraine in January disrupted supplies to European consumers. Russian state-owned oil company Gazprom is seeking a share of Belarus' pipelines and higher gas prices.
December 28, 2006 | David Holley, Times Staff Writer
Russia and Belarus traded bitter words Wednesday in a dispute over natural gas prices that threatened to damage relations between the longtime allies and disrupt supplies to other European countries.
November 24, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Belarusian police detained opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich on Thursday during a visit to a province where he was gathering signatures in support of candidates for local elections, his spokesman said. Milinkevich, who ran against authoritarian President Alexander G. Lukashenko in March and led unprecedented protests afterward, was detained by police near Vitebsk, northeast of the capital, Minsk, spokesman Pavel Mazheika said.
July 17, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Police in Belarus detained about 30 people who staged a demonstration outside the Russian Embassy to demand that the Kremlin stop backing hard-line President Alexander G. Lukashenko. The protest occurred three days after opposition leader Alexander Kozulin was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison in connection with demonstrations against the reelection of Lukashenko, who has been in power 12 years.
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