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Gazprom to take over Beltrasgaz under agt to be signed Friday

November 24, 2011, 19:20 UTC+3

“We shall have 100 percent of Beltransgaz tomorrow”

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PETROZAVODSK, November 24 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s Gazprom will take over Belarus’s entire pipeline company Beltransgaz under an agreement to be signed in Moscow on Friday, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said.

“We shall have 100 percent of Beltransgaz tomorrow,” he said.

Asked about what sort of agreements should be expected after Friday’s talks between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Belarussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko, Miller said, “There will be a signing ceremony.”

However, he kept quiet, when asked if Russia would reduce the price of gas it would be supplying to Belarus.

“You will learn everything tomorrow,” he promised.

As it was previously reported, Russia and Belarus are about to sign documents defining the conditions of supply and transportation of Russian gas through Belarus starting from 2012, and the terms of increasing the share of Gazprom in Beltransgaz from 50 percent to 100 percent.

In 2006, Beltransgaz was evaluated at 5 billion dollars. In May 2007, Gazprom and the State Property Committee of Belarus signed a contract for the sale of 50 percent of the shares. During the 2007-2010 period Gazprom bought annually 12.5 percent packages of ordinary registered shares of Beltransgaz, paying 2.5 billion dollars for the deal. Since March 3, 2010 50 percent of shares of Beltransgaz have been owned by Gazprom and the same amount, by Belarus.

In August 2011 Prime Minister Vladimir Putin instructed the Ministry of Energy of Russia and Gazprom to determine the value of a discount off the price of gas for Belarus in 2012.

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