Russian Gazprom signs gas transit agreement with Belarus

MINSK, BELARUS (BNO NEWS) - Russian gas giant Gazprom and Belarusian Beltransgaz signed on Friday a supplementary agreement to their gas transit contract in an effort to settle the Russia-Belarus gas crisis, RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Gazprom and Beltransgaz became engaged in a dispute over Russia increasing fees on gas transit and debts owed by Belarus. The new agreement set the transit rate for 2010 at $1.88 per 1,000 cubic meters per 100 kilometers. With the signing of the supplementary agreement the gas crisis is apparently solved.

Gazprom previously paid Belarus $228 million to cover the gas transit debt for the last seven months. Belarus claimed that the debt was for $260 million but Gazprom wanted to pay over a lower transit fee ($1.45). It was reported that Russia has acknowledged the remaining $32 million debt.

Belarus also had a debt with Gazprom for $190 million due to the difference between the gas price it has paid and the originally agreed price. Through some loans, Belarus was able to fully pay its debt.


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