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13 Jun 2017

Belarus, Russia to hold talks on common gas market in June

DZERZHINSK, 13 June (BelTA) - Belarus and Russia are planning to hold talks on the common gas market by the end of the month, Belarus Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko said during a presentation ceremony of Amkodor-Semash holding company, BelTA has learned.

“In terms of gas we have all the issues settled for three years ahead until 2019. Now we continue the talks. At the level of deputy ministers we worked out the order of formation and functioning of the common gas market after 2019 and up to 2025. I think we will meet with our Russian colleagues by the end of the month to discuss the mechanisms of price formation and the operation of the gas market,” Vladimir Semashko said.

Vladimir Semashko stressed that Belarus and Russia had the oil issues settled until 2025. “We agreed that it will be 24 million tonnes of oil per year. This is exactly the amount our two oil refineries in Mozyr and Novopolotsk need to operate at their 100% capacity. The entire amount will be pipef. We used to transport some amount of oil by road, which was not very profitable for us. We got some of our commitments removed. For example, one of them was to supply diesel fuel, gasoline to Russia. We have no unresolved issues in terms of oil,” he said.

Vladimir Semashko noted that all these issues need to be addressed so that Belarusian industrial enterprises could work on an equal footing with economic entities in the Eurasian Economic Union. “We have cited these figures many times. MAZ pays 11.3 cents per 1 kWh while Russian KamAZ pays 4 cents? Are these equal conditions? We joined the Eurasian Economic Union in order to create a level playing field. Therefore, we are dealing with such complex problems. Sometimes it takes a year and a half to reach a compromise solution. Yes, we are members of the union but each defends its national interests and this is a natural process,” Vladimir Semashko said.

Vladimir Semashko earlier said that Belarus and Russia signed a document on gas supplies for 2017-2019. The common gas market must be created by 1 January 2025. Belarus and Russia are now discussing the principles of its formation and functions. A task has been set to prepare the relevant documents for consideration and eventual adoption by 1 January 2018. If the principles of the common gas market are agreed upon with the Russian Federation, then the document will be submitted to the Eurasian Economic Union partners – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. “They will examine it and see whether they are ready to work on such principles. Moreover, we agreed with Russia that if, for some reason, our partners refuse to participate, then we will develop the gas market between us: Russia and Belarus,” Vladimir Semashko said.

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