Negotiations on gas prices for Belarus are underway, the ambassador of Russia to Belarus Dmitry Mezentsev told media on Thursday, 1 August.
Today, Russia has set the most advantageous gas price for Belarus compared to other partners – $127 per cubic meter. Negotiations on the price for 2020 are ongoing.
The current price is the result of the concluded agreement and not new negotiations.
“Negotiations are ongoing, there is an agreement that is in effect now, it was valid last year and will remain the same next year. As an appendix to this agreement, a gas pricing algorithm is defined. The formula is complex, I would like the representatives of the Ministry of Energy of our countries to comment on it,” Mezentsev said.
He also stressed that the talks will finish by the end of this year and give the most optimal and comfortable option in the framework of the agreement. The ambassador emphasized that the negotiations are purely formal and that an “optimal solution” will be found until December 31.
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko raised the issue of gas prices for Belarus in talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the end of last year. He recalled the plan to create a single oil and gas market by 2025 and noted that its absence does not allow the Union to operate fully.
A union is impossible without equal conditions,” he said back then.
He particularly focused on prices for energy resources, elimination of barriers and exemptions on the EAEU market, as well as the formation of common markets. According to the president, the price Belarus pays for Russian natural gas is highly unfair.
“Gazprom charges Belarus nearly $3 per 1,000m3 per 100km for transporting natural gas, while the internal Russian tariff is about $1. The price structure for Belarus for gas transportation throughout Russia is 70%.”
Responding to the claims, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said: “Today Belarus pays $129 per 1,000m3 of Russian natural gas and will pay $127 next year. Meanwhile, Germany pays $250.”
No single currency.. at least for now
Mezentsev noted that there is a tendency for an increase in trade turnover in the national currencies of Russia and Belarus. However, he believes that it is too early to talk about the introduction of a single currency.
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“When it becomes clear that we cannot do without a single currency, of course, both sides will take this decision. As for now, I think this is not the issue to resolve the near future,” the Russian ambassador said.
Tax maneuver and poor oil
Speaking about Belarus’ compensation for Russia’s tax maneuver, he noted that the Russian side would “be attentive” to such a request and will never break international agreements with Belarus.
With regard to compensation for contaminated oil that disabled equipment at Mozyr Oil Refinery and caused losses, the ambassador assured that compensation will be paid in full.