Belarus PM set to seek discount on gas from Russia

Belarus stands a good chance to agree with Russia on a ‘fair’ gas price, Prime Minister Syarhei Rumas told journalists on Thursday.

“We can cite figures to prove that the price of $127 makes Gazprom’s supplies to the Belarusian market more profitable than its supplies to non-CIS states,” news agency BelTA quotes Rumas.

According to him, the talks with Russia’s Gazprom are scheduled for May, and the Belarusian side will be represented by Ambassador Uladzimir Syamashka.

  • During the videoconference talks of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council members on April 14, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka urged his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to adjust the gas price to the changes in the economic situation caused by the pandemic: “It is obvious that with such a sharp change in the economic situation, the price should be more adaptive, while the mechanism of calculations should be more adaptive for consumers.”

  • Commenting on Lukashenka’s appeal, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the gas price for Belarus should be discussed ‘at the expert level’. In late April, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak stated that there were no plans to revise the price of gas supplies to Belarus for 2020. “We proceed from the fact that early this year we reached agreements on gas prices for Belarusian consumers valid until the end of 2020,” he explained.

  • Currently, Belarus buys Russian natural gas at $ 127 per thousand cubic meters. Since late 2018, Lukashenka has demanded from Russia a discount on natural gas at the level of Smolensk region, but the Kremlin said that Belarus couldn’t count on it without solving the issues of the union integration.

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