Belarus will see its gas bill shoot up by a third to match European levels while Ukraine enjoys a discount, bringing the fee to the same level of $250 per thousand cubic metres for both countries. The price juggling mirrors relations between Russia and its two western neighbours.
Earlier this year Moscow agreed to slash Kiev's fees by $100 per thousand cubic metres if it had crept up to $330, and by 30 per cent if the price was lower than $330. Ukraine and Russia have seen relations blossom since the arrival of Viktor Yanukovich at the presidential office. He will have saved his country 3 billion dollars by the end of 2010 and 4 billion in 2011, Lenta.ru reported.
Belarus meanwhile pays $186 per thousand cubic metres at the moment, its price hike to $250 in 2011 represents a 35 per cent rise. The jump is set to happen as Russia cancels Belarus' current discount opportunities.
Transit prices will also be raised. Minsk currently pays $1.88 per thousand cubic metres and could have to brace itself for $2 per cubic thousand metres.