Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and President of Russia Vladimir Putin talked briefly about prices for energy resources as a session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council opened in St Petersburg on 6 December, BelTA has learned.
In his speech during the opening of the summit Alexander Lukashenko made it clear it is necessary to continue removing barriers, exemptions and restrictions, which stand in the way of a fully operational common market of the Eurasian Economic Union. Among other things he remarked that the lack of accord on principles of forming the main oil and gas market slows down the union's progress in this matter. “The resolution of this key issue will allow us to get down to work in other areas, too,” stressed the Belarusian leader.
Alexander Lukashenko spoke about equality and equal rights in the Eurasian Economic Union. The president said the price Belarus pays for Russian natural gas is heavily skewed. Gazprom charges nearly $3 per 1,000m3 per 100km for transporting natural gas from Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District all the way to the Belarusian border while the internal Russian tariff is about $1. “A simple question: how are we supposed to compete in this situation?” wondered the Belarus president.
After Alexander Lukashenko finished talking President of Russia Vladimir Putin took the floor once again. “Thank you very much, dear Alexander Grigoryevich. After reporters leave us, we are going to discuss things. I cannot but say a few words about natural gas prices. We've worked out an action plan for the period till 2025 when we are supposed to agree the common markets of oil, oil products, and natural gas. As for today's situation, the ultimate price for natural gas is important, not the [transportation] tariff. You are right. We should certainly think about it,” said Vladimir Putin.
Speaking about natural gas prices, the president of Russia decided to compare the neighboring country of Belarus with Germany. In his words, today Belarus pays $129 per 1,000m3 of Russian natural gas and will pay $127 next year. Meanwhile, Germany pays $250. While the domestic price for natural gas in Russia is even lower, Vladimir Putin described the state of affairs as “a major advantage for our allies”.