Alyaksandr Lukashenka has issued a decree granting the company Energo-OIL the exclusive right to import non-smokable tobacco products (heated tobacco "HEETS"). The document has been published on the National Legal Portal.
It is said that the decree was signed "in order to create additional conditions for the circulation of tobacco products".
Thus, the company will become the only importer of non-smoking tobacco products used in IQOS systems in Belarus.
Energo-OIL is the official distributor of Philip Morris International tobacco products in Belarus. It also launched sales of IQOS systems in the country in 2019. In addition, the company is the single Belarusian operator for the sale of tobacco products of JSC "Grodno Tobacco Factory "Neman".
Until recently, the company was owned by businessman Alyaksei Aleksin, but in mid-January, it was reported that he'd registered his assets on his sons. Experts do not rule out that the businessman might have taken this step because of the EU sanctions. As part of the third package of sanctions, the company Synesis, in which Aleksin also had a stake, was subject to restrictions. After Synesis ended up on the sanctions list, Aleksin left it.