Russia wants to reduce gas prices for Belarus starting in 2012, informed Vladimir Putin during Monday press conference in Moscow. – Russia has taken a decision to introduce an integration descending rate into the gas pricing formula for Belarus from 2012 – Putin was quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency. The decision was taken together by the Russian government and the president.
The descending rate will be decided during negotiations between gas companies from both countries. – Taking into consideration the process of integration, we should introduce fair competition rules – said the prime minister, talking about Eurasian Economic Community project of creating Common Economic Space between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Putin thinks that energy issues play in it major role.
The Russian prime minister also added that reaching final agreement on the gas price reduction is tied to purchasing by Gazprom 50% of shares of a Belarusian gas company Bieltransgaz. Mikhail Miaskinovich, Belarusian prime minister thanked for the price reduction – We are very grateful to Vladimir Putin for such a gift – he said.
Putin, however, stressed that the gas price reduction is in no manner, a gift from Russia. – Of course, this is a direct help, a support, but not a gift. There are expanding opportunities for Russian company in the Belarusian market. – added Putin.
Despite creating Common Economic Space between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, prices of gas are still arbitrarily decided by Moscow, thinks Raman Jakauleusky, a political commentator. – According to an agreement, at the beginning of 2012 the three countries should have the same gas price, however now it looks like the issue is being negotiated all over new – Jakauleusky told Belsat.