Lukashenko Apologized to Putin for the Public "Gas" Dispute
OREANDA-NEWS President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko apologized to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for the public dispute over the price of gas, which he began at a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian economic Council. Footage of conversation of the Head of State with a journalist were published on YouTube.
According to the Belarusian leader, during the discussion with Putin he spoke incorrectly.
"Then I had to apologize to the host of today's meeting. There was a very stormy explanation, but you'd better not hear it," Lukashenko added.
At the same time, Lukashenko called the cost of transportation of Russian gas too high. Russian leader Vladimir Putin in response invited him to debate "frankly and honestly."
According to Lukashenko, the tariff for gas transportation from the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous district to Belarus is three dollars per thousand cubic meters per hundred kilometers, while the domestic tariff is three times cheaper — about a dollar. Thus, Lukashenko believes that in the structure of gas prices for Belarus, the share of transportation fees in Russia is 70 percent. Therefore, Belarus gas costs almost $ 130 per thousand cubic meters, while consumers in the Smolensk region-70 dollars, almost two times lower.
In response, Putin noted that the price of Russian gas for Belarus is already relatively low thanks to the Eurasian Economic Union, and further reduction requires time and a different level of integration. The President also recalled the plans to create common markets for gas, oil and oil products of the EAEU by 2025.
"As for the current situation, it is not the tariff that is important, but the final price of gas, which includes this tariff, is important," Putin said.
Belarus has previously regularly raised the issue of reducing the price of Russian gas supplies, citing the need to create equal competitive conditions and plans for the formation of a single gas market in the EAEU since 2025. The price of deliveries for 2018 and 2019 was agreed in April 2017 at $127 and $129 per thousand cubic meters, respectively.