Russian and Belarusian PMs to meet for economic talks

Prime Ministers of Russia and Belarus Mikhail Fradkov and Sergei Sidorsky are likely to consider the gas supplies issue at their bilateral meeting on the verge of Council of Ministers' session of the Russia-Belarus Union State, a source in the Russian government has told RBC. The source stressed that Russia regarded the issue of gas supplies to Belarus as a subject for talks between economic entities, and the gas price as a market issue. However, if Belarus turned to Russia for a loan to finance gas supplies, Russia would consider such a proposal, the sources added.

In addition the Prime Ministers are likely to address sugar supplies from Belarus to Russia on account of the recent delivery of cane instead of beetroot sugar. The government insider said that the two countries have to outline a set of joint protective measures since they have abolished customs procedures between them.

Also, the parties may touch upon the access of Russian goods to the Belarusian market from the point of view administrative regulations. Russia is worried as Belarus has preserved over 40 restrictions applying to Russian goods, which is twice as much as the European Union has.