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Lukashenka Calls Gazprom Price Rise 'Blackmail'

Alyaksandr Lukashenka (file photo) (RFE/RL) December 29, 2006 -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka today said Belarus will not give in to what he called "blackmail" by 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 a new rate of $105 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas -- more than twice what Belarus currently pays.

A delegation from Belarus was due to hold last-minute negotiations on the gas dispute in Moscow today.


Russia And Belarus

Russia And Belarus

The main Moscow-Minsk railway line(Tass)

TO MERGE OR NOT TO MERGE: For over a decade, Moscow and Minsk have been working on a project to form a single state, the Russia-Belarus Union. However, every time the two countries seem on the verge of making progress, one or the other steps back, leaving the entire effort in doubt.


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RFE/RL's coverage of Belarus. RFE/RL's coverage of Russia.