By Faruk Akkan, Cihan News Agency, Moscow
Problems are developing between Belarus, one of the closest states to Moscow politically among the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), over the price of natural gas.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko harshly reacted to Russia's plan to increase the price of natural gas. Lukashenko said, "Lukashenka said such a move would have serious implications for Russian-Belarusian relations," adding, "My country would survive if there was a [price] increase but Russia would lose an ally."
Russian energy company Gazprom wants to increase the price of one cubic meter natural gas from $47 to $200. In 1999, Russia and Belarus had declared that they wanted to unite under the umbrella of a single state through an agreement.