SOLNECHNOGORSK /Moscow region/, September 7. /TASS/. Russia and Belarus have reached an agreement in principle on the repayment of gas debt; Minsk may redeem its debts to Moscow within a month, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on the sidelines of the Leaders of Russia contest.
"We agreed in principle that our colleagues would pay off the debt. They are now busy checking the debt’s amount and collecting it from sources. In general, based on the conversations we had with the Minister of Energy and Finance [of Belarus] on the sidelines, this should be done throughout September, maybe they will manage to do it earlier than at the end of the month. There are many technical issues," he said.
As Novak said earlier, Russia’s Energy Ministry expects that the negotiations between Gazprom and Belarusian companies on gas supplies and prices for next year will begin as soon as Belarus repays its current debt, which amounts to $328 mln. He also said, Prime Ministers of Russia and Belarus Mikhail Mishustin and Roman Golovchenko gave instructions to their governments to work out the repayment of arrears on energy supplies to Belarus for this year.