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15 Sep 2017

Belarus-Russia gas talks scheduled for next week

MINSK, 15 September (BelTA) – Belarus and Russia are expected to hold gas talks next week, Belarus’ Vice Premier Vladimir Semashko told the media on 15 September, BelTA has learned.

According to Vladimir Semashko, he is set to meet with Russian Vice Premier Arkady Dvorkovich in Moscow next week. “We have a packed agenda, with the gas issue to be discussed in the first place,” the vice premier said.

As BelTA reported earlier, Belarus and Russia signed a document that regulates gas supplies in 2017-2019. “We are currently in the midway and have agreed through 2019 only. The agreements enforceable in 2017 are being fulfilled. In 2018 we will also have a considerable support from Russia,” said the deputy prime minister.

Vladimir Semashko stated that gas prices are a very sensitive issue for the Belarusian economy. “There is a small example which says a lot. MAZ pays $278 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas, while KAMAZ pays $65. MAZ pays 11.3 cents per kWh, KAMAZ 4.5 cents. How can we stay competitive in such conditions?” the vice premier wondered.

In his words, from 1 January 2025 the gas price for Belarus is expected to be equal to the price for Smolensk Oblast. “If we look at the price of gas on the border between Russia and Belarus, it goes with coefficient 2 in relation to the gas price in Smolensk Oblast today. For the time being we have mapped part of the way to reach coefficient 1 by 1 January 2025. Progress has been made already,” Vladimir Semashko said. He stressed that the decisions had been made through 2019 only. As for 2020-2024, the talks with Russia are underway both at the level of the ministers and vice premiers. “I have met with Arkady Dvorkovich three times after the documents were signed. We need to draft the corresponding document and sign it by the end of the year,” the vice premier added.

The common gas market in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is expected to go online in 2025. Today Belarus and Russia are talking over the major principles of the future market. A task was set to prepare the corresponding documents for consideration and further adoption by 1 January 2018. With these principles coordinated, the document will be submitted to the EAEU partners: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia in early 2019.


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