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Gazprom To Raise Belarus Gas Rates --> Gazprom chief Aleksei Miller (file photo) (ITAR-TASS) March 30, 2006 -- Russia's Gazprom said today it would raise natural gas prices for Belarus to European levels by 2007.

Gazprom head Aleksei Miller told Belarusian Energy Minister Alyaksandr Ageyev about the planned change at a meeting in Moscow today.

Gazprom said Minsk would respond by the end of April.

Belarus, a close Russian ally, currently receives gas at a subsidized price of $47 per 1,000 cubic meters -- far below prices paid by customers in Europe and Ukraine.

Under a contract signed in December, Gazprom agreed to sell Belarus 21 billion cubic meters in 2006.

Belarus is heavily dependent on gas imports.

(Reuters, ITAR-TASS)

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