YEKATERINBURG, July 8. /TASS/. Moscow will start gas supply talks with Belarus after the integration issue is resolved, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak told reporters on the sidelines of the INNOPROM exhibition on Monday.
"So far we are negotiating the deepening of integration processes. After we complete dialogue on the issue, it will become clear when and how our gas markets will be drawn together into a single gas market," Kozak said, adding that "it is a complex task."
Kozak also expressed hope that the decision would be found in the near future.
On June 28, Chief Executive Officer of Russia’s top gas producer Gazprom, Aleksei Miller said that Gazprom and Belarus had not yet started talks on the extension of the contract on gas supplies after 2019, though the company had already received "first proposals" from the Belarusian side and was considering them.
In 2019, the 2017 protocol on gas prices concluded by Moscow and Minsk expires. Belarusian Ambassador to Russia Vladimir Semashko said in April 2019 that the country had twice officially submitted its proposals on gas prices calculation methodologies to Gazprom, Energy Ministry and the Government of the Russian Federation. Minsk considers the gas price equaling that valid for economic entities of Russia’s Smolensk Region to be fair.
In early December 2018, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko noted the difference of prices for Belarusian and Russian gas consumers at the meeting of the Eurasian Economic Council. The gas price for Belarusian consumers is $130 per 1,000 cubic meters, whereas for Russian consumers it is $70 (in the Smolensk Region). This year’s price of the Russian gas for Belarus stands at $127 per 1,000 cubic meters.
The INNOPROM international industrial exhibition runs in Russia’s Yekaterinburg on July 8-11. The exhibition has its focus on digital production. Turkey is a partner of INNOPROM-2019 while Russia’s Industry and Trade Ministry and the Government of the Sverdlovsk Region are the exhibition’s organizers. TASS is general information partner and operator of the press center.