The Belarusian Council approved a bill on lifting the limitations from Beltransgaz's going public, the press service of the Belarusian parliament's upper house reported to RosBusinessConsulting. The bill has been submitted to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko for approvement. On November 20, 2002 this bill was passed by the lower chamber of the republic's National Assembly on the first and second readings.
According to the bill that was approved by the Belarusian government in early September this year, gas distribution stations and below-earth gas storage facilities of Beltransgaz will be privatized, while according to the current legislation, they can only be owned by the state.
As it was reported earlier, at a meeting of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and his Belarusian counterpart Gennady Novitsky held on November 12, 2002, Belarus pledged to embrace this bill as soon as possible. In May 2002 the Russian and Belarusian Presidents signed an agreement on expanding cooperation in the gas sector, according to which Belarus should prepare the required documents before July 1, 2003 for the establishment of a joint-venture using Beltransgaz's facilities.