Andrey Zhukau, an aide to Belarus' energy minister, says Minsk has good hopes of reaching a deal with Russia's state-run gas monopoly, Gazprom.
The gas giant is threatening to cut gas supplies to Belarus on January 1 if Minsk doesn't meet the new rate of $105 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas -- more than twice what Belarus currently pays.
Belarus has said it will siphon off Russian gas bound to Europe in the event of a gas shutoff.
(Reuters, AFP, ITAR-TASS)
SETTING THE RATES: With Gazprom negotiating new contracts, many states will be paying more for Russian natural gas in 2007.
- Belarus, following tense negotiations with Gazprom, will pay $100 per 1,000 cubic meters in -- up from $47 in 2006. Ukraine, which depends on Russia to supply it with about 77 percent of its gas, will pay $130 per 1,000 cubic meters of a Turkmen-Russian gas mix. Moldova, which depends on Russia for 100 percent of its gas, will pay $170 per 1,000 cubic meters, with the price rising to European-level market price by 2011. Georgia has agreed to pay Gazprom $235 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas.