Updated at 17:46,10-07-2018

Lukashenka gives two days to reach energy deal with Russia


Aliaksandr Lukashenka has tasked the government to reach a final energy deal with Russia within the next two days. On Monday, he met Vice Prime Minister Uladzimir Syamashka who is charge of the energy sector in the Council of Ministers.

Lukashenka said he had read Syamashka's report about the course of negotiations in Moscow and was ready to hear a plan of how to proceed further on. "It saddens me having to deal with these problems every year. The end of the year is near but we are only starting to deal with the problem of providing the country with something it cannot live without - energy resources," the Belarus president is quoted by the state news agency BELTA as saying.

He noted that the problem has become a talking point for people in their kitchens. "People shouldn't be worrying. It is our job to deal with these problems. However complicated it may be, we should deal with them," Alisaksandr Lukashenka said. He reminded Syamashka about his instructions to have a backup plan both for natural gas and crude oil.

Syamashka voiced three possible scenarios for the price of Russian natural gas for Belarus. More details can be read here. According to Syamashka, the options will be again discussed with Russia 'today or tomorrow.'