Belarus & Russia fail to resolve gas dispute

The dispute between Russia and Belarus over gas payments has analysts waiting for further developments, after talks between the two failed to resolve the impasse over a $US 500 MLN gas debt to Moscow.

Belarus is seeking a $US 1.5 BLN loan to help cover its debt, but Russian officials said they need more time to make a decision.

20% of Russia's gas exports to Europe go through Belarus, which missed a July 23 deadline to pay debts of $US 500 MLN.

This was run-up after Gazprom more than doubled prices at the start of this year.

Minsk has signed to import 21.5 BLN cubic meters of gas from Russia in 2007 at the price of 100 dollars per 1000 cubic metres.

Gazprom sells to the rest of Europe at $US 250 per 1000 cubic meters.