Earlier, the President met with Mr Miller and Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yury Boyko.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Miller, we just discussed gas sector cooperation with Ukraine. Let’s look now at the situation with our other partners, our partners in Belarus. What is the situation now with the contracts on which this cooperation is based? As far as I recall, the current gas supply contract expires this year, isn’t this so?
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller: Yes, the contract for Russian gas supplies to Belarus ends on December 31.
We are currently in the first round of talks with our Belarusian colleagues on acquiring a 50-percent stake in Beltransgaz. A draft intergovernmental agreement on this acquisition is close to completion, as is a corporate-level contract on the acquisition of another 50-percent stake.
”We do not need a repeat of what happened five years ago; we need to reach an agreement, all the more so at the moment when there are factors that will have a big impact on the contract’s content“.
As far as a new gas supply contract is concerned, we plan to begin talks with our Belarusian colleagues at the end of September and have a new contract ready for signing by the end of the year.
The situation on the hydrocarbons market is tough at the moment for consumers and gas prices are high. Of course this has a big impact on the former Soviet republics and in Belarus in particular. I think that we will definitely have a contract signed by the end of the year and will in all circumstances avoid a repeat of what happened five years ago, when we signed the contract currently in force at two minutes to midnight on December 31, 2006.
Dmitry Medvedev: I see. Get the work completed. Of course we do not need a repeat of what happened five years ago; we need to reach an agreement, all the more so at the moment when there are factors that will have a big impact on the contract’s content.
First of all, I am referring to the establishment of the Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. This has brought our economies much closer together and this is something that needs to be taken into account.
Second, as you just mentioned, is the future acquisition of the remaining 50 percent in Beltransgaz. This will to some extent change the conditions of Russia’s and Gazprom’s presence on the Belarusian market, and I think this too should be taken into account when drawing up the contract.
So, these are my instructions. Start working with our Belarusian partners. I hope we will be able to draw up a good contract for our future cooperation.