Belarusian, Russian Gas Companies Settle Differences in Gas Supplies

Text of report by Belarusian privately-owned news agency Belapan

Minsk, 1 August: Belarus's Beltranshaz [gas pipeline operator] and Russia's Gazprom [gas monopoly] have signed an additional agreement to increase Russian gas transit fees through the Belarusian territory. [Belarusian] First Deputy Prime Minister Uladzimir Syamashka told a news conference on 1 August that the agreement was signed last week.

The signing of the document was initiated by Belarus due to the increase of the gas price from 119 to 128 dollars for 1,000 cu.m. in the second quarter of 2008, Syamashka said.

Syamashka said that Gazprom paid to Belarus 105m dollars in gas transit fees for the first six months. Beltranshaz used this money to pay the difference that appeared after Belarus had paid 119 instead of 128 dollars per 1,000 cu.m. of gas [to Gazprom] in the second quarter of 2008. This is envisaged by the formula that is contained in the 31 December 2006 agreement between Gazprom and Beltranshaz.

Syamashka also said that Belarus had initiated signing an annex to the 31 December 2006 agreement on setting the price of gas.

"As Russian forecasts of the oil price did not come true, we must hold negotiations and either annul the agreement, which is unacceptable, or amend it to come to a civilized and normal decision [on the gas price for Belarus]," Syamashka said.

Originally published by Belapan news agency, Minsk, in Russian 1138 1 Aug 08.



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