Lukašenka: Fair price of RF gas for Belarus would be $90 per 1,000 cubic meters

This year’s fair price of Russian natural gas for Belarus would be $90 per 1,000 cubic meters, Aliaksandr Lukašenka said Friday in Minsk while speaking at a meeting with Uladzimir Siamaška, the Belarusian ambassador to Russia.

According to Mr. Lukašenka, he was told by Igor Sechin, head of Russia’s state-owned oil company Rosneft, at their meeting in Minsk earlier this week that natural gas was sold at less than $110 for 1,000 cubic meters at European exchanges. “That means that it should cost up to $90 [for 1,000 cubic meters] in our country,” the presidential press office quoted him as saying.

“Yes, there are some long-term or some other contracts,” he noted. “But long-term gas supply contracts are always tied to the price of oil. And since the price of oil has gone down, that means that the price of natural gas also has. That’s why there’s no such price as $127 [for 1,000 cubic meters] in the world any more.”

“You know better than me how this is calculated,” Mr. Lukašenka told the ambassador. “Therefore our stance on oil and on natural gas supplies from Russia, on prices has cleared up absolutely. And we need to work in this direction. And all of that falls on you, no matter who of the ministers comes to you.”

Mr. Lukašenka also brought up his phone conversation with Vladimir Putin earlier in the day, noting that the Russian president had offered a scheme to compensate Belarus for budget revenue losses that would be caused by this year’s changes to Russia’s oil taxation. Mr. Lukašenka said that Belarus would lose up to $420 million in budget revenue because of the further reduction of the rate of oil export duty this year. According to him, Mr. Putin has offered to compensate this amount. “He has recognized that this is fair,” he said.

He added that Mr. Putin had said that the compensation would be provided at the expense of Russian oil companies.