MINSK, November 23. /TASS/. Belarusian deputies have ratified the protocol on amendments to the intergovernmental agreement with Russia on gas price formation for supplies to Belarus and pipeline transportation of gas on the country’s territory (dated November 25, 2011), TASS correspondent reports from the House of Representatives of the National Assembly (lower chamber of the Belarusian parliament).
When presenting the document, First Deputy Energy Minister Viktor Karankevich said that the protocol resolves the issues related to gas supplies from Russia to Belarus in 2017-2019, and defines the plan of further actions to improve gas cooperation between the two countries in 2020-2024.
He added that following the meeting of presidents of Belarus and Russia on April 3, 2017 in St. Petersburg, the sides developed and enshrined in respective documents the partnership mechanism for the key issues of the countries’ energy cooperation. Particularly, the protocol on amendments to the intergovernmental agreement made earlier was signed.
According to Karankevich, the document stipulates that the price for Russian gas will be adjusted taking into account decreasing coefficients starting January 1, 2018 and until December 31, 2019. Thus, it stands at $143.54 per 1,000 cubic meters in the period between July 1 and December 31, 2017, $129 per 1,000 cubic meters on January 1 to December 31, 2018, and $127 per 1,000 cubic meters on January 1 to December 31, 2019.
"The intended economic effect for Belarus from the decrease in price for gas supplied by Gazprom will amount to around $700 mln in the 2018-2019 period," he said.
Belarus and Russia have been negotiating a reduction in gas prices since early 2016. Minsk insisted on lowering the price for Russian natural gas from $132 to $73 per 1,000 cubic meters and demanded that Russia switched to equal netback pricing. In response to underpayment of around $300 mln for Russian gas supplies Moscow cut its tax-free oil supplies to Belarus by more than a third.
On April 3, after the meeting between Presidents of Russia and Belarus, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko, it was announced that the oil and gas dispute between the two states had been settled. Also, the two countries agreed to develop a single gas market regulation by January 1, 2018.