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Lukashenko calls Moscow arrangements “beneficial”

IVATSEVICHI DISTRICT, 2 December (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko believes that the recent arrangements in Moscow are very beneficial. The President made this statement during his working trip to Ivatsevichi District, Brest Oblast, on 2 December, BelTA has learnt.

The head of state noted that after selling 50% of Beltransgaz shares, Belarus got a great gas discount. “We will be able to save $2.5-3 billion on gas alone. In addition, they have transferred $2.5 billion. This amounts to $5.5 billion next year,” Alexander Lukashenko said. After three years Belarus will compete as an equal on the market of the Russian Federation. This will be a great boost for the Belarusian economy, the President underlined.

“What we have arrived at, after more than two years of talks, will greatly benefit the Belarusian people,” the President said.

Alexander Lukashenko said that if Belarus had not sold 50% of Beltransgaz to Russia, the gas prices for Belarus would be as high as in Germany. “Gas would cost $400-420 per 1,000 cubic meters next year. We have agreed that the price would be settled at $165 per 1,000 cubic meters. This means that the price was halved. He reminded that Russia had been seeking to buy the second part of Beltransgaz for a long time. “I kept telling them, “I do not mind selling 100% of the pipeline, but on condition that it will never stay idle and that it will pump gas via Belarus,” Alexander Lukashenko said. This means transit revenues, taxes and employment of Belarusian citizens.

As for the accusations of selling off the country, Alexander Lukashenko noted that time will be the judge. “I am not going to fight with Russia. Let them try. However, I do not need a war with Russia. I want the country to be stable and develop,” the President stressed.

The head of state believes that if Belarus had had this price for natural gas this year, there would not have been the huge export of foreign currency by people willing to buy cars. There would not have been financial problems in the country. “Should we have another $5 billion per year, there would be no problems. But our economy, society did not endure such pressure,” the President said.