The final agreement with the Russian side on supplies of energy resources must be secured within two days. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko set the goal as he met with Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vladimir Semashko, reported byelorussian BelTA on September 12, 20016.
Alexander Lukashenko said: «I read your report on negotiations in Moscow without delay. I would like you to tell me in more detail how we are going to proceed from now on. Because having to deal with these problems every year saddens me. The end of the year is near while we are only starting to deal with the problem of providing the country with something it cannot live without - energy resources.»
The President also reminded about his instructions to have a backup plan. «We always need an alternative option however hard things can be, including for natural gas (that is certainly more difficult) and for oil,» said Lukashenko.
The head of state noted that during the meeting at the forthcoming summit in Bishkek it may be necessary to discuss some matters concerning Belarusian-Russian relations as a whole.
Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vladimir Semashko told media after the meeting that he had informed the President about the situation in negotiations with Russia on supplies of natural gas and oil to Belarus.
«These negotiations have been going on for a long time — since late 2015. We've come up with several pricing schemes based on the intergovernmental agreements we signed in the previous periods,»noted the Deputy Prime Minister.
Vladimir Semashko reminded that the relevant documents regulate access to the gas transport network and natural gas pricing. The documents include the package of documents on the Eurasian Economic Union that was signed in Astana to enable equal business terms. «Drawing from these basic documents, we have put together 3 possible pricing schemes for Belarus,» noted the Deputy Prime Minister.
In his words, the latter option was discussed with Russian Vice Premier Arkady Dvorkovich the previous week. «We are going to continue these talks tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. The President has set a very rigid timeframe: we are to sign the protocol within virtually 2 days including 14 September. The process can no longer be delayed.»
The official remarked that using equal-income prices would be the most profitable option for Belarus.
The 2nd option provides for tying prices for Belarus to domestic Russian prices with a number of conditions.
Subsidizing is the 3rd option Russia has suggested the sides should consider. «We will have to discuss the three options and choose the best one,«» added Vladimir Semashko.
Minsk says a gas price set by Gazprom of $132 per 1,000 cubic meters is too high, it sees $73 per 1,000 cubic meters as a fair price for gas.