Russian Energy Minister says gas price issue for Belarus not resolved

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has said that negotiations with Belarus on oil and gas are underway, but the price issue has not yet been settled, Interfax reports.

“We are in constant communication mode. Our consultations are not over,” Novak told reporters in Moscow.

“As I understand it, we have a valid contract. The only question is the price at which Belarus wants a discount. It is still under discussion. There have been no final decisions, it’s still under discussion,” said the Minister.

On December 24, Alyaksandr Lukashenka said in an interview with Echo of Moscow that Russia wants to raise the price of gas for Belarus up to $152 per thousand cubic meters in 2020 (in 2019, it was $127 per thousand cubic meters). Commenting on the agreement reached at the last talks with Putin, the head of Belarus said that there are no specific figures and contracts yet.

Earlier, after talks with Putin on December 20, Lukashenka spoke about reaching an agreement to maintain the current gas price for Belarus in 2020 — that is $ 127.

Since 2018, Lukashenka has repeatedly requested to reduce the gas price for Belarus to the level of Smolensk region. Moscow, in turn, says that it’s strange to subsidize the neighboring country at the level of its own regions and another level of integration between Russia and Belarus is necessary for such a discount.