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26 December 2018, 10:58

Belarus, Russia to set up working group to resolve bilateral issues

MOSCOW, 26 December (BelTA) – Belarus and Russia will set up an intergovernmental working group to work out integration-related proposals and to resolve issues on the Belarus-Russia agenda, First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Anton Siluanov told reporters on 25 December, BelTA has learned.

“The meeting of the heads of state of Russia and Belarus and the government members who took part in this meeting has just finished. Bilateral relations topped the agenda. First of all, we discussed the changes to take place in the tax legislation of the Russian Federation next year, as well as our plans to amend tax administration in the oil and gas sector. The parties also discussed joint action in the field of price setting for gas, energy resources. They agreed to reconcile positions across all these matters,” Anton Siluanov said.

In his words, an agreement was reached to set up a working group that will consist of members of the governments. “This working group will elaborate proposals on our further integration and resolution of the burning issues that concern the governments of the two countries,” Anton Siluanov said.

When asked to be more specific, he informed that as far as the gas prices are concerned, the parties should decide on the next period starting from 2020 and work out proposals on the price formation for this type of energy. “As far as the working group is concerned, it will develop proposals related to the further integration and ways to resolve the issues dominating the bilateral agenda of Belarus and Russia,” Anton Siluanov said.

Quoting Belarus' Energy Minister Viktor Karankevich, BelTA informed earlier that Belarus and Russia are discussing the price for gas that will be in effect after 2019 till the formation of the common gas market in the Eurasian Economic Union on 1 January 2025. “Talks are underway on the year 2020. Proposals on introducing amendments to the price protocol are to be drafted by 1 July. The matter has not been settled yet. Belarus' proposals have been sent [to Russia]. They are under discussion. We still have half a year to find common ground. This is about the prices for 2020-2024. This period marks the transition towards the common gas market to be established in the Eurasian Economic Union on 1 January 2025,” the minister noted.

The price for the Russian gas for Belarus will equal $127 per 1,000 cubic meters in 2019.

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