Belarus will ratify Energy Charter Treaty sooner or later - deputy parliamentary speaker

MINSK. Sept 27 (Interfax) - Belarus will ratify the Energy Charter Treaty sooner or later, Sergei Zabolotets, a deputy chairman of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Belarusian parliament, said in Minsk on Thursday.

"While we have not yet ratified the Energy Charter Treaty, Belarus is being guided by this document. Sooner or later, we will take the course toward its ratification," Zabolotets said at a meeting with Andre Mernier, the Secretary General of the Energy Charter Secretariat.

"We are bound by treaties with the Russian Federation; and therefore, we would like to do this work synchronously," he said.

Belarus is prepared to "jointly provide Europe's energy security," Zabolotets said. "In this connection, both the exporter countries, consumers, and the transiting countries should think about this, including from the viewpoint of security of the transportation of energy resources," he said.

Mernier said he hoped Minsk would ratify the document, which is likely to be beneficial to Belarus, although the Energy Charter Secretariat knows that Belarus needs to coordinate its steps in this area with Russia.

As there are different opinions in Russia regarding the need to ratify the Energy Charter Treaty, one should bear in mind that, after the parliamentary and presidential elections in that country, the situation there might change, Mernier said.

The ratification of the document would be a political message and a political decision, Mernier said. For Belarus, this issue depends not only on its relations with Russia but also on cooperation between the government and the parliament, he said.

The energy area is a key factor in economic growth today, Mernier said. Belarus plays a great role not only as an energy transiting country, but energy efficiency problems are also important to it; and therefore, Mernier invited Belarus to work together on this problem. The ratification of the Energy Charter Treaty would be an important argument for investors, he said.