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Gas price for Belarus tied to Russian prices

MINSK, 2 April (BelTA) – The price for the Russian gas Belarus buys is tied to pricing practices in Russia, Yevgeny Kazimirchik, Deputy Chairman of the Industry, Fuel and Energy Complex, Transport, Communication and Entrepreneurship Commission of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus, told media on 2 April.

The MP commented on the Belarusian-Russian intergovernmental agreement on pricing natural gas deliveries to Belarus and gas transportation across Belarus. The House of Representatives of the National Assembly planned to ratify the agreement on 2 April.

The agreement clearly stipulates the gas price Belarus has to pay. It is tied to pricing practices of the Russian Federation, in particular, the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, said the MP. To this price the agreement adds the price of transit, gas storage, and the sale price of Gazprom. The agreement also stipulates transit terms and transit tariffs, basic transit tariffs for the gas pipeline serviced by Beltransgaz and basic tariffs for the gas pipeline that will deliver gas via the Belarusian part of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline. The agreement stipulates conditions of joint actions to calculate the amount of gas Belarus will need for years to come and the responsibility of the Russian side for fulfilling contracts.

The agreement is supposed to be adopted in a package with the Belarusian-Russian intergovernmental agreement on selling Beltransgaz shares and future operation of the company.

Yevgeny Kazimirchik remarked that Beltransgaz was evaluated by an independent appraiser back in 2007 when the sale of the first 50% package of Beltransgaz shares was decided upon. Now the sides will complete the deal. The sides have come to terms taking into account an independent evaluation performed by international experts, said the MP. “The deal will suit both sides. We will not lose the pipe,” he said. He said the pipe is important as long as it is used to pipe gas.

Beltransgaz will pay taxes to the state budget. The sum paid for Beltransgaz has been transferred to the budget, too. “The enterprise employs our people, they get decent salaries, therefore Belarus has lost nothing,” believes Yevgeny Kazimirchik. He stressed that at present the company performs all the functions: gas transportation, deliveries, development. It will employ as many people as required for normal operation of the company.