Gazprom warns it will go to court if Belarus fails to pay for gas

MOSCOW, July 16 (Itar-Tass) -- Russia's Gazprom has warned Belarus it might go to court if Minsk fails to perform its obligations and pay for Russian gas.

Gazprom's Board Deputy Chairman Alexander Ananenkov met with Beltransgaz Director General Vladimir Mayorov on Wednesday to discuss the situation.

The discussed "the performance of the contract for the supply and transit of gas in 2007-2011, focusing on the need to full payment for current Russian gas supplies to Belarus in strict compliance with the terms of the contract," Gazprom said.

Under the contract, the price of gas for the republic since the beginning of the year has been calculated by the formula that is most comfortable for Gazprom's gas supplies to the CIS and Baltic countries.

"During the meeting, Alexander Ananenkov said that if the Belarusian side continues to default on its obligations to pay for Russian gas in full, Gazprom reserves the right to appeal to court," the company said.

On December 31, 2006, Gazprom and Beltransgaz signed a contract for the supply and transit of Russian gas in 2007-2011. The document set the price of gas in 2007 at 100 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic metres and determined a pricing formula for gas from January 1, 2008 (matching the pricing formula for gas supplies to Europe), as well as the reduction factors for the price in 2008-2010 (0.67, 0.8 and 0.9 respectively).

Beginning 2011, Belarus, just like industrial consumers in Russia, will may the price identical to that in Europe, Gazprom said.