Belarus gets discount on Russian gas

Russia will sell natural gas to Belarus in the first quarter of 2008 for $US 119 per 1,000 cubic metres, in accordance with the 2006 agreement. Thus gas price for Belarus will be kept at the current level. President Putin made the announcement in Minsk du

The Belarusian president said his country undertakes transit responsibilities “so that countries in Western Europe, rich and poor alike, and the European Union have stability in energy supplies”.

Russia will also provide a loan to Belarus of $US 1.5 billion to help its neighbour pay for energy.

The current agreement, which is still profitable for Gazprom, is effective until 2011.

“Among the results of the President’s visit to Minsk, from Gazprom’s point of view, it’s first of all the confirmation of all the agreements signed last year. Those agreements regulate for a number of years the issues concerning the gas supply to Belarus and gas transit through republic’s territory. The Belarus side also confirmed that the transit will be provided full scale and this time we do not expect any New Year surprises,”Sergey Kupriyanov , the Gazprom’s spokesperson, commented.