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MINSK, August 23. /TASS/. Belarus hopes to settle issues with Russia on the natural gas supplies in the near future, Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov said on Tuesday.
"The negotiation process is in progress. We are quite close to reaching agreement with our Russian partners on the gas prices and gas supplies to Belarus," press service of the Prime Minister said.
He noted that in July, the GDP of Belarus declined by 0.2%. "But it was in a particular situation with the specific circumstances in connection with restrictions of the supply of oil to refineries - about 700,000 tonnes. It turned out that Belneftekhim reduced industrial output and the corresponding amounts of the wholesale trade of petroleum products," Kobyakov said.
Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said that Russia due to underpayment for gas supplies has decided to cut oil supplies to Belarus.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that the Belarusian debt for Russian gas in the first six months of 2016 reached $270 mln. At the same time, Minister of Energy of Belarus Vladimir Potupchik said that Belarus has no debt to Gazprom.
Belarusian Energy Minister Vladimir Potupchik said that Minsk considers $73 per 1,000 cubic meters as a fair price for Russian gas. According to Novak, the current price of Russian gas supplies to Belarus stands at $132 per 1,000 cubic meters.