Official Website of the Republic of Belarus
Belarus Events Calendar
Belarus’ Top Tourist Sites
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Belarus
Belarusian sanatoria and health resorts
Souvenirs from Belarus
| Home | Government | Events


7 Apr 2017

Lukashenko comments on insinuations of Russian officials regarding his talks with Putin

MINSK, 7 April (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko commented on the insinuations of certain Russian officials regarding the results of his talks with Russia President Vladimir Putin at the session held at the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus on 7 April to discuss the problems and development prospects of Belarusian science, BelTA has learned.

At the session Rector of the Belarusian State Economic University Vladimir Shimov pointed out the interrelation of science and the economy and asked the head of state about the results of his recent meeting with Russia President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg. According to the scientist, there are various speculations in mass media regarding these talks, therefore scientists and the society in general would like to get first hand information about the talks from the President.

“Commenting on various insinuations, especially those of Russian officials, I would like to say that, perhaps, they were not pleased with the results of our negotiations with Putin, because all of them had their own interests. And the outcome was a bit different from what they had expected. I will not say that we arrived at the planned results and reached the initial goals. There was a certain compromise, and a very beneficial for us,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

According to the President, the issues on the agenda were in the spotlight even before the talks. “Yes, we truly maintain very good relations with Russia. Russian people do not differ from us at all. We will always respect them. But we have our country, our people, and we must ensure the normal operation of our state,” he emphasized.

According to the head of state, controversial issues began to emerge in the Belarusian-Russian relations because of the different approaches to prices for natural gas. “There are different approaches to natural gas and oil prices on international markets. Prices for natural gas have always been pegged to prices for oil. If oil prices are falling, natural gas prices are falling too. In accordance with the formula that we had been using with Russians before, we should have paid $100 for 1,000 cubic meters of gas,” Alexander Lukashenko explained.

However, the Russian side decided to increase the price to $130 and said that Belarus will still pay a minimal price in comparison with global prices. “There no such prices in the world. This is true. But it is also true that we have the Union State, a common market, and there should be equal conditions for people, economic operators. Our greenhouses paying $150-170 for gas will not be able to compete with Russian greenhouses paying $40-60 for it,” the President said.

The situation is the same in the energy sector. Belarusian enterprises had to pay for natural gas much more than their Russian colleagues to produce electricity. “There should ne equal conditions,” the head of state stressed.

In his words, Vladimir Putin answered that he does not want the economic situation to worsen in Belarus which the main ally of Russia. However, the Russian side suggested fulfilling the contract with Gazprom this year. The price for gas in this contract is $130 for 1,000 cubic meters. Then the sides settled on a compromise and agreed on the compensation from the re-export of oil. As a result, the funds from the re-export of 6 million tonnes will annually come to the Belarusian budget. “This is beneficial,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The sides also discussed one more financial issue. In accordance with the previous arrangements, Belarus should have delivered about 1 million tonnes of gasoline to the Russian market losing $150 million every year. “Now we have agreed to close this topic. We will not deliver this gasoline,” the President said. The sides also decided that the gas price for the Belarusian side will be formed in Russian rubles.

Apart from that, the parties discussed the delivery of Belarusian products to the Russian market. Alexander Lukashenko stressed that the Russian side imposed unjustified bans. “He [President Putin] promised to deal with it,” the President said.

Russian government bodies monitoring the state border also make a contribution to it. According to Alexander Lukashenko, they are corrupt. “We have unveiled all those schemes. He said that we should deal with it together. It is a good idea. We will handle this problem together,” the head of state said.

However, the head of state emphasized that economic issues were not the main topic of the negotiations. The parties paid special attention to the defense of their borders. “The situation in the western theater of operations is very serious today,” Alexander Lukashenko explained.

The terrorist attack took place in St. Petersburg on the day of the talks. Therefore, defense issues were in the center of attention, the sides agreed to act together in this field.

“We will continue this conversation in Bishkek. Apart from agricultural issues, the delivery of products to Russia, industrial cooperation, the Supreme State Council will also focus on security and defense matters, especially in view of the forthcoming army exercise West 2017,” the head of state added. “I would like to encourage them to provide assistance to us in the re-equipment of the Belarusian army." The two leaders agreed to address this issue.

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
Great Patriotic War monuments in Belarus