Minsk expects to agree with Moscow on gas prices by 2020

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MINSK, February 22. /TASS/. Belarus expects to intensify negotiations with Russia in March on prices of gas from 2020 in order to resolve this issue until June 1, 2019, Minister of Energy of Belarus Viktor Karankevich said on Friday.

“Negotiations are conducted at the level of relevant ministries and deputy prime ministers. In accordance with the signed agreements, the deadline is set – a document on gas prices from 2020 should be developed and signed before July 1, 2019,” Karankevich said according to Betla news agency.

Karankevich said that the parties need to take “comprehensive measures to carry out this work in due time.” At the same time, according to the Belarusian minister, the date of the next meeting of representatives of the two states’ governments on the issue of determining the price of gas has not yet been determined. “At the moment I cannot give the date, but this work will be active starting from March,” he said.

It was reported earlier that Russian gas supplies to Belarus in 2018 increased by 7% and amounted to 20.33 bln cubic meters against 19 bln cubic meters in 2017, according to the materials prepared for the meeting of the presidents of Russia and Belarus, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko.

“Russia is the main supplier of oil and gas to Belarus. In 2017, Russia supplied Belarus with 18 mln tonnes of oil and 19 bln cubic meters of natural gas, in 2018 – 20.33 bln cubic meters of gas and 18 mln tonnes of oil,” the report said.

In 2018-2019, Belarus bought gas from Russia at a discount. The price of Russian gas for the republic in 2018 was $129 per 1,000 cubic meters, in 2019 it will drop to $127.

On February 13, at the talks in Sochi, the leaders of the two countries planned to discuss key issues on the bilateral agenda and prospects for the development of integration processes in the Eurasian space. It is expected that the negotiations will cover issues of pricing for Russian gas and the problem of Belarus’s shortfall in income from Moscow’s tax maneuver in the oil industry.

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