Russia to raise gas price for Belarus by 11% in early 2010

Belarus will pay around $168 per 1,000 cubic meters of Russian natural gas in the first quarter of 2010, 11% more than the average price of $150 for 2009, the Gazprom CEO said on Wednesday.

"Under the contract, the gas price formula for Belarus in the first quarter of 2010 will be around $168 per 1,000 cu m," Alexei Miller said. "This year, gas was supplied to Belarus at an average of around $150, 11% lower."

Miller explained that Belarus is eligible for an exclusive discount due to the lack of a gas export duty, and that the price will help the country's economy adjust to an earlier agreed transition to higher gas prices.

The two ex-Soviet neighbors, which form a "union state," had a bitter dispute in 2006, when energy giant Gazprom threatened to cut supplies to Belarus, which rejected an increase in gas prices. The countries finally agreed to a gradual increase in prices to European market levels by 2011.

Miller met with Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko in Moscow on Wednesday.

MOSCOW, December 30 (RIA Novosti)


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