MINSK, Belarus, March 31 (UPI) -- Russia's state-run energy giant Gazprom announced it will increase the price of gas sold to Belarus five-fold.
The increase is designed to reflect current European market prices, Forbes reported Friday.
Gazprom head Alexei Miller announced the rate increase following a meeting with the Belarusian energy minister, and said in a statement his company felt Belarus' gas supply should "be aligned with European prices."
The price increase will not take effect immediately, and the Belarusian government has until April 30 to respond. It is believed the country will acquiesce, as Belarus is entirely energy dependent on Russia.
Under the current deal, Belarus pays $50 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas, compared with the European market rate of $230 per 1,000 cubic meters.