MINSK, 9 December (BelTA) – The price of Russian gas for Belarus is to be agreed on within the coming two weeks, Belarus' Ambassador to Russia Vladimir Semashko told reporters on 8 December commenting on the Sochi talks between Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, BelTA has learned.
“We exchanged views on the gas price, these views often disagreed, but in the end the presidents determined the way to go. I am grateful to Russian President Vladimir Putin that during a break in the one-on-one meeting he instructed Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Vice Premier Dmitry Kozak to remove all the disagreements within the coming one or two weeks, so that in a couple of weeks we will be able to say that we have come to terms,” Vladimir Semashko said.
The ambassador noted that after all the integration road maps are agreed on and come into force on 1 January 2021, the issue of the gas price for Belarus will be resolved. “We are in talks on the gas price for 2020,” the diplomat underlined. He recalled that in line with the intergovernmental agreements, the gas price for 2020 was to be decided by 1 July 2019. “Unfortunately, we are yet to do it at the end of the year again. However, I am convinced that in the forthcoming week we will be able to agree on this matter with Alexey Miller and the Energy Ministry of Russia. Dmitry Kozak might also get involved in the talks,” the Belarusian diplomat said.
According to him, the two countries are set to have an equal gas price starting from 1 January 2021; the Belarusian side insists that the gas price should start decreasing in 2020 in order to lay the groundwork for the common economic space. “What kind of groundwork is this if on the border the gas is two times more expensive than in Smolensk Oblast. Therefore, our objective is to gradually arrive at the same price as on the border by 1 January 2021. To make sure this will happen we want to start moving towards it in 2020, we want to cover at lease half of the way,” Vladimir Semashko said.More about Economy