Gazprom, Belarus discuss sale of 50% stake in Beltransgaz

MOSCOW, April 3 (Itar-Tass) -- Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Belarus Minister of Energy Alexander Ozerets met on Tuesday to discuss the Russian gas giant's acquisition of a 50 percent stake in Beltransgaz, the company' s press service told Itar-Tass.

"The sides discussed cooperation in the gas sector, including the contract selling a 50 percent stake in Beltransgaz to the Russian gas monopoly," the press service said.

The agreement on Russian natural gas supplies was signed between Gazprom and Belarus two minutes before the beginning of 2007. Under that document, the Russian company will buy a 50 percent stake in Beltransgaz for 2.5 billion U.S. dollars. All payments will be transferred by equal tranches within four years.

Earlier, Belarussian First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko said that a Russian-Belarussian joint venture on the basis of Beltransgaz is due to be established by June 1, 2007.

On December 31, 2006, Gazprom and Beltransgaz signed a contract on gas export and transit for 2007-2011. The document set the Russian gas price for Belarus at 100 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic meters in 2007, and a price formula starting from January 1, 2008 (it will correspond to the one in Russian gas supplies to Europe).