Russian gas price for Belarus to top $200 per 1,000 cu m in 2009

MINSK, August 6 (RIA Novosti) - The price of natural gas sold by Russia to Belarus will exceed $200 per 1,000 cubic meters in 2009, Russia's ambassador in Minsk said on Wednesday.

Alexander Surikov said the price scheme for Belarus was based on that used for neighboring Poland.

"Under a contract signed in December 2006 on gas supplies to Belarus until 2011, the gas price for Belarus is 80% of the price of natural gas for Poland minus customs duties, gas transit across Poland, and plus gas transit across Russia and Belarus. The price for Poland is $320 per 1,000 cu m this year and will exceed $400 next year," Surikov said.

In December 2006, Gazprom and Beltransgaz signed a contract on gas supplies and transit for 2007-2011. The document envisioned a price of $100 per 1,000 cubic meters for 2007 and a pricing formula for 2008.

According to the formula, Russia was supposed to sell gas to Belarus at $119 per 1,000 cubic meters in the first quarter of 2008, but raise the rate to $128 in the second quarter of this year.

The Russian ambassador also said trade between Russia and Belarus was expected to reach a record $34-37 billion in 2008, compared to $26 billion in 2007.



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