Gas talks between Russia and Belarus produce no results

Energy Ministers of Belarus and Russia, Viktor Karankevich and Alexander Novak, resumed attempts to come to an agreement on gas prices, with Minsk demanding a considerable discount. Negotiations held on June 9 over vodeo conference, which involved the deputy chief of staff of Gazprom Alexander Meshkov, Ambassador to Minsk Vladimir Semashko, ended without any results.

The press service of the Russian Ministry of Energy did not report any concrete results of the conversation, while Minsk stressed that the position of the Belarusian side has not changed.

Belarus insists on lowering Gazprom's prices, which it considers "unfair." Price of Russian gas fell sharply in Europe for both long-term contracts and in the spot market, where in May prices collapsed to 40-45 dollars (on the British site NBP and Dutch TTF respectively).

Minsk, under the existing contract, pays 127 dollars for Russian gas. "The Belarusian side once again noted the need to revise gas prices for Belarus setting it at correct and fair level," the Belarusian Ministry of Energy said.

On June 9, during a video conference call, the ministers discussed cooperation in the gas sector. Belarusian Ambassador to Russia Vladimir Semashko took part in them, as well as the chairman of the supervisory board, deputy chief of staff and advisor to the chairman of the board of Gazprom Alexander Meshkov.

At the end of May, Gazprom said that it was ready to start negotiations with Belarus on the terms of supplies in 2021 after it repays $165.57 million in debt for the gas which Belarus already received.

The Belarusian Ministry of Energy replied that Belrus has no debt for imported Russian natural gas and disputes are being held regarding its cost, considering the caloric content.

"At the same time, the position of the Belarusian side remains unchanged: in order to resolve the differences between the economic entities on the price of gas, taking into account its caloric content, Gazprom Transgas Belarus needs a methodology for determining the actual monthly heat of natural gas combustion with metrological confirmation of its suitability in accordance with the legislation of Belarus," the Belarusian Ministry of Energy said after the talks.

In early June, the Belarusian Energy Ministry sent a letter to the head of Gazprom, which outlined the key issues of the bilateral agenda and proposals for their discussion, in particular on the terms of gas supplies in 2020 and the method of gas pricing from January 1, 2021. In order to resolve the disagreements, the Belarusian Ministry of Energy noted the need to provide Gazprom Transgas Belarus and Beltopgaz GPO with a methodology to determine the actual monthly average heat of natural gas combustion with metrological confirmation of its suitability in accordance with the legislation of Belarus.

  Belarus, Russia, Gazprom