Medvedev: Minsk should fully meet gas commitments

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday voiced hope that Belarus could fully fulfill its obligations in accordance with Russian gas transit contracts, and thus avoid conflicts.

"I hope they (Belarus) will be more circumspect and honor their contractual obligations more thoroughly," said Medvedev during a video conference, who meanwhile noted that the gas row has been over.

According to CEO of Russian energy giant Gazprom Alexei Miller, an agreement has been reached between the company and Minsk concerning the gas transit fees via Belarus for 2010.

"The agreements have been made, but documents have not been signed yet," said Miller, adding that gas supplies to the European Union across Belarus territory has fully resumed.

Miller, however, did not specify the exact sum for Gazprom to pay, news agencies reported.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on Friday gave another 24 hours for Gazprom to pay its proclaimed residual debt for transit fees, adding otherwise his government would suspend the transit of Russian oil and gas.

Gazprom has since Thursday fully resumed gas supplies to Belarus after it confirmed the receipt of some 187 million U.S. dollars from Minsk, the arrears accrued since the start of this year by Belarus state gas company Beltransgaz.

Minsk meanwhile insisted Moscow pay 260 million U.S. dollars instead of the 228 million dollars that Russian energy giant had already paid, for the transit fees of Russian gas supplies to Europe via Belarus territory.

Belarus is a transit country for Russian gas exports to Europe. A similar dispute between Moscow and Kiev early last year caused heating fuel shortage for some European countries in late winter.


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