The Russian gas giant Gazprom has signed a contract with Latvijas gaze on supplying natural gas to Latvia through 2015, sources in Gazprom reported to RBC. The contract prolongs a similar contract on gas supplies through 2005 that was signed in 1999. No details about the volume of gas supplies have been provided as yet. In 2002, Gazprom sold 1.1bn cubic meters of gas to Latvijas gaze. At present, 1,000 cubic meters of gas costs around $80.
According to Latvijas gaze Press Secretary Vincents Makaris, the contract will hedge Latvia against a deficit of natural gas. He added, however, that the Russian government's decision to raise export taxes on natural gas from 5 percent to 30 percent of dutiable value, starting January 2004, might affect Latvia.