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Opinions & Interviews

23 Feb 2018

Semashko: Belarus, Russia may resume gas talks in late March

Semashko: Belarus, Russia may resume gas talks in late March

BORISOV, 23 February (BelTA) - Belarus and Russia may resume gas talks in late March, Belarus’ Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko said before the board session of the Industry Ministry, BelTA has learned.

“With regard to the gas prices to be applicable in 2020-2024 we are at the stage of negotiations with Russia. We were supposed to formulate some pricing principles by the end of 2017. I think that we will resume talks at the end of March,” Vladimir Semashko said.

Vladimir Semashko recalled that in April 2017 Russia and Belarus agreed on the gas prices for Belarus to be applicable by 2019. “With regard to the relations during the period from 2020 till 1 January 2025, when we are supposed to operate the single gas and oil market, we are at the stage of the negotiations. It is understandable that Belarus seeks to have the gas price on the Russia-Belarus border between on par or very close to the price for gas in Smolensk Oblast,” he noted.

According to the vice premier, when joining the EAEU Belarus pursued two major goals, which were to have the common energy market and reach common prices for energy. In his words, Russia accounted for 52% of the Belarusian exports as of late 2017. “This is not 75-80% as it was some 10 to 15 years ago, but it is still a significant amount,” he said.

Speaking about the energy prices, Vladimir Semashko cited an example of the gas price for MAZ. “MAZ pays 11 cents per 1 kWh, while Russia’s KAMAZ 4.5 cents. MAZ pays $278 per 1,000 cubic meters, and KAMAZ $65-70. We want the prices to be equal,” he said.

According to the vice premier, the negotiations on gas prices between Belarus and Russia are ongoing. “These talks have hardly ever stopped. The last time we met with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich was on 7 February,” he said.


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