Updated at 20:54,07-12-2016

Putin suggests doubling wages at gas transport company Beltranshaz

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin suggested on Saturday that wages at Beltranshaz, Belarus gas transport company that is now fully owned by Russian gas giant Gazprom, should be doubled.

"Apparently, you will have to consider raising pay levels now that this company is wholly owned by yours", Mr. Putin said at a meeting with Gazprom CEO Aleksei Miller.

Gazprom bought the other 50-percent stake in Beltranshaz for $2.5 billion in late November. The first 50-percent stake had been acquired by the Russian gas monopolist at the same price before.

Mr. Miller said at the meeting that Gazprom had started preparations to "synchronize" the Belarusian pipeline enterprises operation with Russias single gas supply system.

"It is beyond any doubt that it will increase the stability and reliability of gas deliveries both to Belarusian consumers and European countries", Russian news agency RIA Novosti quoted Mr. Miller as saying.