Gazprom, Belarus Agree Pricing for Russian Gas in 2020
Russia's Gazprom has signed a protocol with Belarus setting a pricing mechanism for Russia gas supplies to Belarus in 2020, the company said on its website on February 14.
The document was signed by Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Belarusian energy minister Viktor Karankevich in St Petersburg.
Belarus and Russia are locked in a long-standing dispute over oil and gas supplies, which the former relies on to cover practically all of its fossil fuel needs. Belarus' supply contracts for oil and gas expired at the end of last year, and so far they have been unable to agree new ones.
The two sides said last month they had agreed on a temporary arrangement for gas supplies, whereby Belarus would continue paying the same price for Russian gas in January and February as it did last year, which was $127/'000 m3. Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko then met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on February 7, after which Belarusian officials said this tariff would remain the same for the entire year.
Minsk had been hoping to pay only $94-100/'000 m3. In contrast, Gazprom charged its European customers on average $203/'000 m3 for gas last year.
The two countries are yet to make any progress in agreeing terms for oil supplies. Shipments were cut off at the start of the year after their contract expired, only to resume days later. But in the absence of an intergovernmental agreement, supply quantities are much lower than they were previously. What Russian oil Belarus does receive is reportedly supplied by private producer Safmar.