Only after Minsk settles its debt for the gas supplied, Moscow will agree to negotiate discounting, news agency Interfax reports with reference to Russian gas giant Gazprom.
“As of today, Belarus’ gross debt for the deliveries of gas from Russia totals to $165,57 mln. As soon as the debt is completely paid off, the Russian side will be ready to scheduletalks on the terms of gas supplies starting from January, 2021,” Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said.
In mid May, Prime Minister Syarhei Rumas told journalists that Belarus had a good chance to agree with Russia on a ‘fair’ gas price.
During the videoconference talks of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council members on April 14, 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.
During the EAEC summit on May 19, Vladimir Putin rejected the proposal of Armenia and Belarus and suggested the EAEC Development Strategy until 2025 be approved without a paragraph on unified gas tariffs. Accordong to him, the use of a single formula of gas tariffs in the EAEC requires a level of integration, which has not yet been reached.