Ambassador: One unresolved issue on Belarus-Russia integration agenda

14:44, 31 August

The tariff for gas transportation remains the only unresolved issue on the Russian-Belarusian integration agenda, Belarusian Ambassador to Russia Vladimir Semashko said when taking journalists' questions during a working trip to Voronezh Oblast of Russia on 31 August, BelTA has learned.

"One of the difficult issues, which we have been discussing for several years, is the common gas market," Ambassador Vladimir Semashko said. “What do the integration roadmaps imply? This is, in fact, a plan of action to promote the integration, which involves the efforts to develop the common markets for electricity, for oil and petroleum products, for transportation services (including road, rail and aviation) and, of course, the common gas market. We still have differences with regard to the approaches to the pricing formula. I hope that we will solve this problem too."

The ambassador explained: according to the Russian pricing rules, the price for gas consists of the cost of gas produced at the well and the cost of transportation. "So, for Belarus, transportation takes up to 70% of the cost, which is extremely inflated," he said. “At the same time, in accordance with the Russian pricing rules, logistics (transportation and storage) accounts for not more than 20-30% in the price structure in Russia. In fact, the tariff for transportation remains the only unresolved issue.”

When asked a clarifying question as to what, in the opinion of Vladimir Semashko, the gas price for Belarus will be next year, he replied: "Most likely, the price next year will remain at the current level. But we insist that in a year the price be close to that which we have on the border of Russia and Belarus.”

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