Gazprom has been supplying gas to Belarus fully in accordance with its obligations within the framework of the contract between Gazprom and the Beltransgas state company of December 21, 2001. The Gazprom Press Service reported that the sum of debts of Belarusian consumers for the gas supplied in 1999-2001 reached $157m as of the date of signing of this contract. The volume of supplies for 2002 was set at 10.2bn cubic m, and the price of gas was set at $30 per 1,000 cubic m. The total amount of the contract is $306m.
On November 1, Gazprom officially notified the Belarusian side of the necessity of reducing the gas consumption by 50%. Belarus was informed that despite this reduction in the volume of gas consumption, Gazprom would fulfill its obligation to supply 10.1bn cubic m of gas before November 15, 2002.
Since the volume of supplies was reduced, Belarus has paid $11 for the gas. Therefore, the total amount of payments has reached $31m since the beginning of the year, which is equal to 12% of the amount of the contract. Due to the absence of undistributed gas reserves for 2002 Gazprom has suggested that Belarus should hold talks with gas producers in Russia and the CIS to make contracts for gas supplies in November and December of this year. Gazprom is ready to take the responsibility for transporting this gas via Russian backbone pipelines and to give priority to these supplies.
Gazprom hopes that Belarus will be able to fulfill its liabilities dealing with payments for has supplied in 2002 before the end of this year and the repayment of the debts for the gas supplied in 1999-2001.
Maria Zakharova, an official representative for the Russian Foreign Ministry, commented on the attack that the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) conducted on the Russian city of Belgorod