Russia and Belarus have reached “fundamental agreement” on cooperation in the oil and gas sector. About it Dmitry Medvedev said at a government meeting Thursday, reports .
“In this prolonged not our fault dispute there were many difficult moments. <…> Unfortunately at some point our partners simply stopped paying in full for the contract, a significant debt,” — said the Prime Minister. According to him, countries have been able to find “clear and transparent” solutions that satisfy both sides.
Medvedev explained that the developed three protocols. The first determines the volumes of Russian crude oil in the period from 2017 to 2024 in the amount of 24 million tonnes annually by pipeline. The second establishes the procedure for determining the price of gas for Belarus in the period until 31 December 2019 and provides for the development in the period until January 1, 2018 proposal for the program of formation of common gas market of the EEU by the year 2025. The third Protocol contains a change in the rules of access to services of natural monopolies in the sphere of gas transportation. Instead of the previously applicable rules shall be governed by the EEU, the Protocol will affect including the issue of pricing and tariff policy.
“This package of documents will minimize the risk of price disputes or dual, different interpretations of the rules in the future. Additional assurances and guarantees on the dispute ended we received from the government of Belarus yesterday,” — said Medvedev. He also explained that Russia will begin to implement these agreements after Belarus pay the debt to Gazprom.
That Moscow and Minsk have decided all disputes which relate to gas prices, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has declared after his meeting, which was held in Strelna on 3 April. Putin also said that the parties agreed on cooperation for the next three years and ready for 1 January to develop rules for a common gas market. “We found a scheme in which we maintain our approach brings together our views on prices”, — said Putin about the settlement of the gas dispute.
Lukashenko, in turn, said that Putin has agreed to refinance the debt of Minsk, but did not specify what kind of debt it is. “The President [of Russia] promised that within today and tomorrow he will give appropriate instructions on this issue”, — said the President of Belarus.
Five days after this meeting, Lukashenka said that Russia will supply Belarus gas for $130 per thousand cubic meters, while Minsk insisted on a price of $73 per thousand cubic meters. Lukashenko explained that the parties decided to compromise and agree that the cost of Belarus will be compensated for by re-exports of oil.
On 11 April, the Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov said that his Department was instructed to study the issue of granting Belarus a loan of up to $1 billion to support the budget of this country. According to him, the credit was discussed during a meeting of the presidents of Russia and Belarus, which took place on 3 April.
Starting in 2016, Minsk has sought to reduce the price of gas. Belarus insisted on a price of $73 per 1 thousand cubic meters of Russian gas instead of $132.
Russia believes that the Belarusian side did not pay about $300 million In response to it has been cut supplies of duty-free oil with a planned 24 million tonnes to 18 million tonnes.