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09 December 2022, 15:46

Lukashenko comments on Russian gas price for Belarus

BISHKEK, 9 December (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko commented on the price of the Russian gas and whether it is comfortable for Belarus as he spoke to the media on the sidelines of the EAEU summit in Bishkek what, BelTA has learned.

“The question is not about the prices in our countries. The question is about equal opportunities that economic entities should have since we have opted for deep cooperation with Russia (because of the global crisis, wars, pandemic and so on),” said the head of state.

He cited an example of greenhouse farming, where energy accounts for a large share of production costs: “If the gas price for you is $60 or $80, and $120 for us at the border, what equal conditions can we talk about here? I will not be able to sell my goods on your market. Even if I can, I will have to cut salaries and so on to be able to compete in price.”

“The main thing is a level playing field. Let gas be at $1,600, like in Europe, God forbid it, of course. But the price should be the same in Russia and in Belarus. This is important for us. Well, we will reach an agreement [on gas prices] anyway,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled that he and the Russian president had agreed to meet in the near future to discuss economic issues. “We agreed to discuss security issues, but most importantly, economic matters. We are set to discuss the energy issue at our next meeting,” he said.

According to the president, gas and energy issues were also raised at the EAEU summit in Bishkek. “The issue was second or third on the agenda,” he said. All parties have voiced their position.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, in 2025 the EAEU partners should enter these single energy markets, including the gas one. “We have agreed to do it step by step. As it turns out, it is not only Russia who is not ready for such drastic moves. Almost all the countries that produce or buy, for example, gas are not ready for that today. That is why we have agreed to address the relevant issues on a bilateral format at this stage. Since the market is to be launched in 2025, let us settle this matter on a bilateral basis. We agreed on this at the one-on-one meeting [of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council],” the Belarusian leader said.

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