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Gazprom deal for Belarus by November

Gazprom deal for Belarus by November
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the only issue left to consider in a natural gas deal between Russia's Gazprom and Belarus is price. UPI Photo/Stringer. | License Photo

MOSCOW, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- The only issue left to consider in a natural gas deal between Russia's Gazprom and Belarus is price, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.

The current contract between Gazprom and Belarus expires Dec. 31. Belarus is anticipating a lower price for Russian gas. A current discount from Russia is to expire, after which gas prices could be pegged to market conditions.

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Putin told Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich that cooperation between the countries was developing in many areas, which "naturally" included the energy sector.

In terms of the gas deal, he said, there will need to be some adjustments.

"We have indeed carried out significant work at the corporate, expert and government levels," he said during a news conference. "The work has almost been completed and only pricing remains to be determined."

Myasnikovich said the multiyear gas deal was "crucial" to his country.

"Active work is currently under way in order to sign these agreements not on the eve of New Year but better in November," he said.

Gazprom has said a new contract for Belarus hinges on a deal that links the terms to the purchase and sale agreement to the acquisition of a 50 percent stake in the country's energy company Beltransgaz.

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