Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Russian Vice Premier Explains why Gas Price for Belarus is Lower than for Ukraine

Belarus buys Russian natural gas at a lower price than Ukraine because of Minsks closer integration ties with Moscow, Igor Shuvalov, Russias first deputy prime minister, told reporters in Kyiv on April 1.

He said that Belarus also imported Russian crude on preferential conditions because of this.

"Russia and Belarus are building a union state and we for ourselves have determined a certain amount of oil that is delivered for Belarus needs at the same price as to consumers inside Russia," RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.

"We are also pursuing the goal of completely abolishing export duties on oil and petroleum products when a common economic space is formed," he added.

Mr. Shuvalov said that Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia would establish a common economic space by January 1, 2012. "And this envisages common economic conditions," he said.