Lukashenko slams Russia for "making three times more money" from gas sales to Belarus than from Germany

Lukashenko slams Russia for
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko complained that Russia's Gazprom is asking Minsk to pay more for gas than it charges Germany
By bne IntelliNews January 10, 2020

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has slammed Russia's natural gas monopoly Gazprom for allegedly earning "three times as much in Belarus than in Germany" from gas sales amid the lack of agreement with Moscow on new oil and gas subsidies to Minsk.

Lukashenko said that, "today, Gazprom earns three times as much in Belarus than in Germany. Is it normal? It is abnormal".

"When we decided to sell [the Belarusian gas transport system operating system to Russia] Beltransgaz in 2011, we had an inflexible agreement that Russian domestic prices for natural gas will be enabled over the course of five years," Lukashenko added. "Someone may have forgotten it but I haven't. This is why I insist it must be done Why haven't we come to terms on oil deliveries with the Russian President yet? Because Russia wants us to buy oil at prices above the world ones. [This is] totally unacceptable. This is why I've rejected the offer to buy such oil and plainly said we will find oil in some other place if Russia refuses to sell oil at the world price. And we have found oil," state news agency BelTA quoted Lukashenko as saying on January 9.

Russia is ready to deliver crude oil to Belarus on terms that were in place in 2019, a person familiar with Russia’s position said. Under last year’s conditions, the cost for Belarus would be $1.6bn less in 2020 than it would be to buy from elsewhere at market prices with transportation costs included, based on 24mn tons of annual volume, the person told Bloomberg on January 4 on condition of anonymity.

Russia halted crude supply to Belarus on January 1 after a contract expired, and the two countries are in negotiations on a new agreement.

Minsk said later that it has secured a temporarily solution on shipment from a Russian company, without paying a premium. Over the past few years, Belarus bought oil on terms similar to that for Russian independent refineries, which involved a small premium, the person said, according to Bloomberg.

On January 4, deputy CEO at Belarusian state petrochemical conglomerate Belneftekhim Vladimir Sizov said that it intends to resume exports of oil products in January.

"The resumption of [exports of oil products] is expected in January. [...] [The resumption of exports] depends on how rhythmically and quickly the contracts are concluded. We expect that all possible restrictions will be lifted by the end of January - at least this is an optimistic scenario".

 

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