GORKI, October 10. /TASS/. The price of gas for Belarus will remain at the previous level as per contract agreement, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at the meeting with his deputies on Monday.
"In order to avoid incorrect interpretations, I would like just to draw your attention to the fact that the price for gas supplies to Belarus will remain the same calculated according to the effective formula. There has been no adjustment. But it is necessary (for Belarus - TASS) to repay debt in order to restore normal business relations," he said, adding that he would have a telephone conversation with the country’s Prime Minister later on Monday.
"Unfortunately, we’ve had a pile of problems in the oil and gas sector with Belarus recently. The underpayment for gas supplies to Belarus has caused a debt, which unfortunately keeps rising," Medvedev said.
However, "efforts have been taken recently to settle the debt issue and get back to normal relations with our closest partner," he added.
Belarus will repay its debt for Russian gas, which exceeds $300 mln, in full before October 20, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said at the meeting chaired by PM Dmitry Medvedev on Monday.
"The indebtedness for gas (supplies) starting this January will be repaid in full before October 20 this year," he said, adding that the indebtedness stands at "more than $300 mln."
Earlier on Monday Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vladimir Semashko said Minsk would pay back its debt for Russian gas before October 25.
Minsk will make current payments for Russian gas in full starting his week, Dvorkovich said.
According to Medvedev, this means that Belarus "will return to a proper contract execution and will pay the price stipulated by the contract under the existing formula."
Belarus has been negotiating a reduction in price for Russian gas since the beginning of this year. The current gas price for Minsk stands at $132 per 1,000 cubic meters, though the country’s Energy Ministry considers $73 per 1,000 cubic meters as a fair price for the gas it receives.