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Russia ratifies gas agreement with Belarus

MINSK, 3 January (BelTA) – Russia has completed the ratification procedure of the gas agreement with Belarus. The corresponding federal law was posted on the official website of the State System of Legal Information of the Russian Federation on 31 December, BelTA has learnt.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin signed the law to ratify the Belarus-Russia intergovernmental agreement on formation of prices (rates) for gas delivered to Belarus and its transportation via pipelines located on the territory of Belarus. The agreement was signed in Moscow on 25 November 2011.

The agreement will formalize price formation principles in respect of gas pumped to Belarus. The pricing formula for gas deliveries to Belarus comprises the gas price paid by consumers in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District plus transportation and storage costs. In 2012 the gas price for Belarus stood at $165.6 per 1,000 cubic meters. In 2013 and consequent years the figure will be changed only by the amount of the inflation.

Vladimir Putin also ratified the intergovernmental agreement on the purchase/sale and further activity of OAO Beltransgaz. The agreement had been ratified by the State Duma of Russia before.

Chairman of the Committee for Foreign Affairs in the Federation Council of the State Duma of Russia Mikhail Margelov informed earlier that the document envisaged conclusion of an agreement between OAO Gazprom and the State Property Committee of Belarus on the acquisition of OAO Beltransgaz shares worth $2.5 billion by OAO Gazprom. The agreement has been temporarily in effect since the day it was signed - on 25 November 2011.

According to Mikhail Margelov, the key condition for the Belarusian side in concluding the agreement was the natural gas prices for Belarus pegged to the wholesale gas price set for Russian consumers. The agreement also provides that its terms will not affect the company’s performance.

The agreement also secures conditions for further operation of OAO Beltransgaz. In particular, they include an upgrade, reconstruction and development of the gas transportation system owned by the company. Besides, the agreement makes OAO Beltransgaz the sole importer of Russian gas in Belarus and the operator of the Belarusian part of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline.