Russia, Belarus sign supplementary agreement on gas transit

MINSK (RIA Novosti) -- Russian energy giant Gazprom and Beltransgaz have signed a supplementary agreement to their gas transit contract, the head of the Belarusian pipeline operator said Friday.

"The sides signed all the required documents setting the transit rate for 2010 at $1.88 per 1,000 cubic meters per 100 km. The parties are now doing a final check on their accounts," Vladimir Mayorov was quoted as saying by the Belta news agency.

Gazprom has already paid Belarus $228 million to cover its November-December gas transit debt and the debt for the first five months of 2010 based on a $1.45 gas transit fee, while Belarus insisted on the fee of $1.88 per 1,000 cu m per 100 km of transit, which would increase Gazprom's debt to $260 million.

Belarusian First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko said Thursday Gazprom has acknowledged its remaining $32 million gas transit debt to Minsk.

In June, Belarus and Gazprom were involved in a dispute over Belarus' non-payment for Russian gas, with Gazprom slashing deliveries and Minsk threatening to suspend European transit supplies. The size of the fees that Gazprom pays for transit to Beltransgaz became the final stumbling block in the conflict.


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