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Beltransgaz deal, gas pricing very advantageous for Belarus – Lukashenko

December 02, 2011, 19:45 UTC+3

Gazprom and the Belarusian State Property Management Committee signed a deal selling a 50% stake in Beltransgaz to Gazprom in May 2007

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IVANTSEVICHKI, Brest region, December 2 (Itar-Tass) —— The latest agreements with Russia are very beneficial for Belarus, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Friday.

The president referred to the Gazprom full acquisition of Beltransgaz and the preferential gas price for Russian gas Belarus would pay.

The Belarusian State Property Management Committee and Gazprom concluded a contract on the selling of Beltransgaz stock on November 25, at a meeting of the Supreme State Council of the Russia-Belarus Union State.

Gazprom and the Belarusian State Property Management Committee signed a deal selling a 50% stake in Beltransgaz to Gazprom in May 2007. From 2007 through 2010 Gazprom was annually acquiring 12.5% of Beltransgaz ordinary registered shares with the deal’s total value of $2.5 billion. Beltransgaz was owned by Gazprom and the Belarusian government 50/50 since March 3, 2010.

Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmakto said that Gazprom’s acquisition of Beltransgaz would put an end to gas wars. Gazprom said it would pay $2.5 billion for the other half of Beltransgaz to become the only owner of the company.

“We said from the start that we did not mind the selling of Beltransgaz at 100% but we demanded that the pipelines must be in constant use and gas must be pumped through Belarus,” Lukashenko said.

He noted that Russia would continue to pay Belarus for gas transit and taxes and Belarusians would continue working at Beltransgaz.

“If Belarus had not sold the remaining 50% stake in Beltransgaz, Belarus would have had to buy gas at $400-420 per 1,000 cubic meters. Now we agreed to the gas border price of $165 per 1,000 cubic meters. The price was halved. The Russians met our conditions in exchange for the 50% stake. Also, they gave us a loan of $10 billion for building the nuclear power plant,” Lukashenko said.

“A knot in the relations with Russia was untied. Some other advantageous agreements may be made, for instance the crude price may drop,” he said.

The discount gas price will save $2.5-3 billion to Belarus per year, he said. Besides, $2.5 billion were transferred to Belarus in payment for 50% in Beltransgaz.

Later on Belarus will enjoy the same gas prices as Russia and its commodities will become equal rivals of Russian commodities, Lukashenko said.

Claims of the opponents that Belarus has lost a lever of influence on Russia are unfounded, Lukashenko said. If Belarus had the same gas price this year it would have avoided problems, he remarked.


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