Putin: Russian govt to cut price of gas supplies to Belarus 2012

MOSCOW, Aug 15 (PRIME) — The Russian government plans to set a decreasing coefficient to calculate prices of Russian natural gas supplies to Belarus in 2012, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said at a news conference Monday.

The Russian government has decided to include a decreasing coefficient into the gas price formula for Belarus starting from 2012, Putin said, adding that the decision had been coordinated with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

The coefficient is expected to be finalized during negotiations, Putin said, adding that a final decision over the gas price formula could be connected to the purchase of the remaining 50% stake in Belarusian pipeline operator Beltransgaz by Russian gas giant Gazprom.

Gazprom currently holds a 50% stake in Beltransgaz, while the remaining 50% interest is owned by the Belarusian government.

Putin also said he believed that the Russian and Belarusian governments should coordinate their actions and effectively use the advantages of their integration to quickly respond to possible economic risks amid the uncertain situation in the global economy.

Earlier on Monday, Medvedev called on Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller to speed up the signing of an agreement on gas supplies to Belarus in 20122014. In turn, Miller said that Gazprom planned to start negotiating over gas price supplies to Belarus with its Belarusian partners in September, with the signing of a final agreement scheduled to take place by the end of 2011.

Miller said that Gazprom has nearly finalized a draft agreement on the purchase of the remaining 50% interest in Beltransgaz.


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