Alyaksandr Lukashenka on November 22 met with Aleksei Miller, the chief executive of Russia`s state-controlled natural gas giant Gazprom who had arrived in Belarus to attend a ceremony marking the putting into operation of a modernized gas distribution station near Minsk.
"I note with great satisfaction that unlike in the past, we don’t have a situation where a new year begins, but we have not yet agreed on the volumes to be supplied and the price of natural gas," the Belarusian leader said. "In my opinion, there are currently no more thorny issues between us."
Cooperation between Belarus and Gazprom has reached a qualitatively new level, Mr. Lukashenka noted. "I know that we considered a number of joint projects with Gazprom and you may propose new projects," he said. "Forms of cooperation satisfying both sides have been found with regard to at least the projects that were proposed earlier. We can discuss them with you, but a solution has been found."
"We welcome with great pleasure the fact that Gazprom has become more decisive and makes huge investment in Belarus," Mr. Lukashenka said. "We support this. This is advantageous to us."
In pursuance of agreements signed in Moscow in November last year, Gazprom became the 100-percent owner of Belarus’ gas pipeline company AAT Beltranshaz after paying a total of $5 billion and pledging to charge Belarus $165.6 for 1000 cubic meters of gas this year compared with $265 in 2011.
Belarus is expected to pay $166 per 1000 cubic meters next year and $178 in 2014.
Belarus is estimated to save between $2.6 billion and $2.7 billion this year alone thanks to the discount provided by Gazprom.