Russian, Belarussian gas companies to continue discussing cooperation

On Wednesday the Gazprom concern of Russia and Belarussian state gas-transportation company Beltransgaz will continue discussing cooperation issues. The two companies' representatives will discuss, in particular, the rates for transit of Russian gas across the territory of Belarus, a source in Gazprom told RIA Novosti today.

Russian gas goes in transit across Belarus by the Yamal-Europe transcontinental gas pipeline belonging to Gazprom, as well as by the gas-transportation system of Belarus itself. By the Yamal-Europe gas conduit gas is supplied to Poland and Germany, and through the Belarussian gas-transportation system - to Lithuania, Ukraine and Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave in the Baltic area.

The Yamal-Europe gas conduit is the principal gas-supply line on the territory of Belarus. More than 21 billion cubic meters of Russian gas were transported by it last year. The plan target for this year is 23 billion cubic meters.

The previous talks between Gazprom and Beltransgaz on the supplies and transit of Russian gas in 2004, which were held in Moscow in March, ended without result.

The Belarussian side proposed to double the transit tariff against the last year, a source in Gazprom said. However, Minsk would like to purchase gas for its own needs at a reduced price - $46.68 instead of $50.

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