Russia to offer reduced gas price formula to Belarus from 2012

Russia will offer a reduced gas pricing formula to Belarus from 2012 as part of integration processes between the two ex-Soviet republics, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

“Russia has taken a decision to introduce an integration descending rate into the gas pricing formula for Belarus from 2012,” Putin said after a Council of Ministers meeting of the Union State between Russia and Belarus.

The descending rate will be determined in the process of negotiations between the national gas companies from both countries, Putin said, adding that the issue would be linked to the acquisition by Gazprom of the remaining 50 percent in the Belarusian gas transportation company Beltransgaz.

Belarus has long insisted that gas prices for Belarus as a member of the Union State should equal gas prices on the Russian domestic market, which are much lower than the prices at which Gazprom sells natural gas to European consumers.

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