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Russia and Belarus agree on gas price, oil supplies

April 13, 13:27 UTC+3

The Russian premier says Belarus has provided further assurance about the implementation of energy agreements with Russia

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© Viktor Drachev/TASS

GORKI, April 13. /TASS/. Russia and Belarus have found decisions satisfactory for both sides regarding gas price and oil supplies issues, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a government meeting on Thursday.

"As of today we’ve found decisions satisfactory for both sides," he said.

According to Medvedev, the government plans to approve the protocol setting the volume of Russia’s crude oil deliveries via pipelines in 2017-2024 at 24 mln tonnes per year, later on Thursday.

"The second protocol sets the procedure on gas price formation for Belarus until December 31, 2019, and stipulates the proposal on single gas market formation within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) till 2025, to be developed by January 1, 2018," PM said.

The third protocol contains access rules regarding services provided by natural monopolies in the gas transportation area. "The norms of the Eurasian Economic Union will be administered instead of those used earlier. The protocol will particularly cover the price formation and tariff policy issues," Medvedev said.

Prime Minister said the two countries had found themselves in a difficult situation through no fault of Russia. "The gas dispute has had quite a few challenging points, such as the debt for gas already supplied to Belarus, the future gas price, the formation of a single market within the Eurasian Union. Unfortunately our partners just stopped full contract payments at some point, and a sizeable backlog appeared," he added.

Belarus has provided further assurance about the implementation of energy agreements with Russia in order to avoid discretionary interpretation of documents and new price disputes, he said. 

"This package of documents will mitigate risks of new price disputes and discretionary interpretation of regulation in the future. We received further assurance and guarantees on the recent dispute from the Belarusian government yesterday," he said.

According to Medvedev, Moscow expects Minsk to repay its gas debt.

"We expect the debt to Gazprom to be repaid. After that we will get to the implementation of the agreements (in the oil and gas sector) that are being considered now," he said.

Russia’s government has approved the set of documents on oil and gas issues with Belarus, a source in the government’s press service said Thursday.

Particularly, the protocol on amendments to the agreement dated 2011 between the governments of the Russian Federation and Belarus on pricing (tariffing) procedure on natural gas supplies to Belarus and its delivery via gas pipelines located on the Belarusian territory has been approved, the press service said.

The protocol on amendments to the agreement on shares purchase and sale terms and further operations of Beltransgaz has been approved, the source said. The government has also approved the protocol on amendments to the agreement dated 2007 on measures to forge trade and economic cooperation in the area of oil and petroleum products exports.

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