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19 Mar 2019

Petrishenko explains Belarus’ position on EAEU gas transit rates

Petrishenko explains Belarus’ position on EAEU gas transit rates

MINSK, 19 March (BelTA) – In an interview with the Zvyazda newspaper, Belarus’ Deputy Premier Igor Petrishenko explained Belarus’ approaches to setting gas transit rates in the EAEU amidst the establishment of the EAEU common gas market, BelTA has learned.

Belarus suggests using uniform approaches to gas transit rates in the EAEU common gas market and in the domestic gas markets of the EAEU member states. This principle is very important and should be formalized by the documents that are in the works now, Igor Petrishenko said.

Taking into consideration that the gas producing nations view gas supply to the EAEU common market as export, which is used to subsidize domestic gas transportation, Belarus has objective reasons to doubt that the gas producing nations will stick to this subsidy mechanism in the EAEU common gas market.

“Russian partners are reassuring that these concerns are groundless, because the declared fundamental principles will not allow restricting (discriminating) the rights of any of the common gas market participants. However, the reality suggests otherwise,” the vice-premier noted.

“If Belarusian companies are granted the same terms of access to the services of Russian natural monopolies as Russian economic operators enjoy (this pertains to the rates for such services), Belarus will take it as confirmation of commitments to the principles of equality in the Eurasian Economic Union,” he said.

When asked whether oil and gas disputes between Russia and Belarus will be resolved by establishment of the common market of oil, petroleum products and gas, Igor Petrishenko said: “Yes, we hope for that. Otherwise, all the efforts to turn the EAEU into a fully functioning organization will be fruitless.”

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