Gazprom to continue talks with Minsk on purchase of Beltransgas.

13/7 Tass 350

MOSCOW, July 13 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s Gazprom will continue talks with Minsk in September on terms of purchasing 50 percent of Beltransgas shares and making new gas supply and transit contracts.

The agreement to this effect was reached by Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Belarusian First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko on Wednesday, July 13.

“Since the talks will continue in the autumn, that is, ahead of the heating season, we will have to discuss the questions of Gazprom’s control over Beltransgas and the terms of Russian gas supply and transit together, even though we wanted to avoid this. The time when we could regulate corporate maters regarding Beltransgas first and then sign supply and transit contracts as a 100 percent owner was missed. Nevertheless, we have an opportunity to resolve the remaining questions before the end of the current contracts for gas supplies to current contracts for gas supplies to Belarus,” Miller said.

Earlier Miller and Semashko said they had approved all terms of the deal to purchase 50 percent of Beltransgas during a telephone conversation on July 4.

“Unfortunately, the Belarusian side continue to link the signing of documents on Beltrangas to the terms of a new contract for gas supplies to Belarus. In our opinion, this can only delay the negotiations but make no essential changes,” Miler said, adding that the effective contracts could not be changed until the end of 2011.

In late 2006, Gazprom and Beltrangas signed a contract for the supply and transit of natural gas in 2007-2011. The document determine the pricing formula from January 1, 2008 – identical to the pricing formula used for gas supplies to Europe – and price reducing coefficients for 2008-2010 (0.67, 0.8 and 0.9 respectively), Gazprom said.

Gazprom acquired 50 percent of Beltransgas shares into ownership on March 3, 2010.

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