Russia and Belarus next week to hold talks on gas

© RIA Novosti / Ivan to Runability in photosangelina station. Archival photoRussia and Belarus next week to hold talks on gas© RIA Novosti / Ivan to Runepalace the image Bank

Vice-Premier of Belarus Vladimir Semashko said that next week he will hold talks with his Russian counterpart Arkady Dvorkovich on the gas issue.

As reported on Friday Reuters, citing Semashko, next week he is scheduled to meet with Vice Premier of Russia Arkady Dvorkovich in Moscow. «We have a different theme, but above all, to discuss the issue of gas,» — said Deputy Prime Minister.

He noted that earlier Minsk and Moscow settled the issues related to the supply of Russian gas to Belarus until 2019. Semashko recalled the position of the Belarusian side, that from 1 January 2025 the gas price for Belarus should be equal to the price in Smolensk region of Russia. «Today, if you look at the gas price on the border of Russia and Belarus, it is by a factor more than 2 compared to how much gas is in the Smolensk region. While we have designated only a part of the trajectory is that by January 1, 2025 to reach a ratio of 1. Already there is progress,» — said Semashko.

As for cooperation in the gas sector in 2020-2024 years, negotiations at the level of ministries, Ministers and Vice-premiers, he said. «I have already three times after the signing of the documents (had settled the gas dispute between Belarus and Russia – ed.) met with Arkady Dvorkovich. We have until the end of the year to prepare the draft document and to sign it», — said the Belarusian Vice Premier.

Earlier, Belarus and Russia have decided to develop the principles of formation and functioning of the single market of gas. Semashko reported that the country has entered a new cycle of negotiations on this topic, and they should be intensified. According to him, before 1 January 2018, the two governments should prepare appropriate documents for consideration and further adoption. If they are agreed, then this document at the beginning of 2019, the parties will propose to its partners in the EEU. If partners are not ready, then a single gas market will be established on a bilateral basis.

It is planned that a single gas market in the Eurasian economic Union will be created by 2025 and a common electricity market in 2019. In late may Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov suggested that the partners «given the high dependencies of the electricity market from the gas market to take all necessary joint efforts to accelerate the development of common gas market of the Union, without waiting for the stipulated in the Treaty of Alliance 2025».