Head of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko stated the failure of the deadlines for the formation of a single gas market with the Russian Federation, expressing dissatisfaction. Expert of the Financial University under the Government Igor Yushkov believes that in this way he prepares the ground for negotiations with Vladimir Putinwhich will take place in the near future. He expressed his opinion to the correspondent Pravda.Ru.
“I think that here Lukashenka is preparing a negotiating position in this way. Because Vladimir Putin’s visit will take place now. And he highlights the issues that he would like to discuss and on which he would like to move forward in these negotiations. Therefore, this is the designation of issues that Minsk interest, and an attempt to create just such an image that it is important for Minsk and it is necessary to resolve this particular issue in the framework of the upcoming visit of Vladimir Putin,” Yushkov said.
The position of Belarus is understandable, because, as an importing country, it would like to buy gas at a low price. But Russia is an exporting country, so it is in its interests to make prices higher, the expert notes. But it was possible to agree on a tax maneuver in the oil sector, and compensation from the Russian budget went to the Belarusian plants. With gas, Minsk is also counting on progress, but there are some nuances.
“The Belarusian position proceeds from the fact that gas for the Belarusian side should cost the same as in the Russian region – in the Bryansk or Smolensk regions, that is, approximately below $100 per thousand cubic meters. And the Russian side insists that even if we, in fact, “If we compare prices with Russian regions, it will still come out above $100 per thousand cubic meters. Firstly, because now the ruble exchange rate has changed against the dollar. Secondly, everyone looks at this single gas market differently here,” Yushkov believes.
If we consider Belarus an export market in a separate state, then only Gazprom can supply gas there. And if the markets are united and the neighboring country is considered an internal market, then Minsk can be supplied with gas by independent gas producers, such as Rosneft and NOVATEK.
However, it does not matter to Belarus who will supply gas, the main thing is that the price be less than $100 per thousand cubic meters. And the permission to supply blue fuel to independent companies does not mean at all that they will agree to this, the expert concluded.
Lukashenka wondered who would be responsible for missed deadlines and how to fix the situation?