Belarus still owes Gazprom around $200 million for natural gas supplied to the country this year, Aleksei Miller, head of the Russian monopoly, said when meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev on September 7.
Gazprom expects the Belarusian government to pay off the debt by the end of this year, RIA Novosti quoted Mr. Miller as saying. Belarus settled part of its debt in August but still owes Gazprom a "very significant" sum, Mr. Miller said. In a report released in mid-August, Gazprom said that the contract price of Russian natural gas supplied to Belarus was $157.74 per 1000 cubic meters in the second quarter of 2009.
It said that Belarus had run into a debt of more than $244 million for gas supplied to the country in the first five months of this year.
Gazprom then accused Belarus of violating regularly its contractual obligations regarding payments for gas deliveries and missing their deadlines.
Under a five-year contract, signed with Gazprom on December 31, 2006, the price for Belarus was raised to $100 per 1000 cubic meters for 2007 compared with $46.68 in the previous two and a half years. The price was to gradually increase to the European market level by 2011. It was to be 67 percent of the level, excluding delivery costs, in 2008, 80 percent in 2009, 90 percent in 2010, and 100 percent in 2011.