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Media: Lukashenko trapped – Minsk no longer pays Russia for gas

According to the Belarusian weekly Nasha Niva, Belarus is delaying the payment of natural gas to Russia because the exchange rate of the Russian ruble has risen more than expected. The current price for Belarus is too high.

According to an agreement signed with the Russian gas giant Gazprom, Belarus must pay 128 dollars per thousand cubic meters of natural gas.

This is a favorable price, about 2 to 4 times lower than that paid by gas buyers from other countries under long-term contracts in January and February. The fact, however, is that this price is fixed for Belarus and some companies have a price tied to oil quotes. However, even among the countries that buy blue fuel from Gazprom at fixed prices, none received such a good price as Belarus.

After all, Minsk fell into a trap that she blew up. With few political goals, the Belarusian government has long sought to settle for energy in Russian rubles. With the start of the war in Ukraine, it was decided to switch to payments in rubles. However, this was not only the case in Belarus: Moscow demanded the same from gas companies based in European Union member states. In this way, Russia artificially increased its ruble against the US dollar, the euro and the Belarusian ruble.

Today, one US dollar officially costs 56 Russian rubles, and the real market price would probably be between 80 and 120. The most suitable price for Belarus would be 75-80, that is, as much as he was before February 24, before the invasion. from Ukraine.

“Minsk does not make payments at the current rate: if you make a payment, the remaining installments will have to be paid as part of the first installment. This is Gazprom’s policy,” the source said.

Belarus would now have to pay significantly more dollars or rubles for gas than previously expected. Therefore, Minsk does not pay, but waits for the ruble to weaken or change the price formula.

“It just came to our knowledge at that time. Unexpected things happen,” Aliaksandr Lukashenko told TV cameras when he met Vladimir Putin. They both talked about the switch to settlements in national currencies.

“Negotiations are ongoing,” a knowledgeable source told Nash Niva.

Earlier, Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Nazarov told TASS that “a mechanism should be developed in the first half of this year. [dujų] price in a State of the Union.”

There have already been cases in the history of energy relations between Belarus and Gazprom when the two sides failed to agree on a price for natural gas. However, after negotiations, which sometimes took time, a mutually acceptable solution could always be found.

Source: The Delfi





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