Russia Wants Belarus to Pay Gas Debt

Russia Wants Belarus to Pay Gas Debt

Russia estimates Belarusian gas debt to be approximately $550 million, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Saturday. "In our opinion, Belarusian gas debt to Russia stands at about $550 million. That's according to our estimates," Dvorkovich said, Sputnik reported. Earlier in the day, Dvorkovich said that the talks on the gas dispute resolution were ongoing with Russia demanding that Minsk pay its debt according to the initial formula. Russia and Belarus have been in talks over the price of Russian gas deliveries to Belarus for months. In November 2016, Russia said Belarus owed it $281 million for gas, with Minsk refusing to recognize the debt. Belarus had initially bargained for $73 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas instead of $132, which it considered unfair. Russia and Belarus have been discussing a possible change to the pricing formula. "They want a revision of the formula which is set out in the existing agreement, taking into account that the situation in oil markets has seriously changed prices for gas in the whole world," Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.

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