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Belarus, Russia to Align Gas Prices by 2026 Following Presidential Negotiations

By Vusala Abbasova May 26, 2024

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From 2026 onwards, both countries aim to develop a pricing algorithm that will bring Belarusian gas prices closer to domestic Russian prices, adjusted to Russian rubles. / Sergei Grits / AP

Belarus and Russia have agreed to develop a plan to align their gas prices by 2026.

This announcement was made by Belarusian Ambassador to Moscow Dmitry Krutoy on Saturday, following negotiations between the presidents of the two countries in Minsk.

“The conditions for the period after 2026 are currently being discussed by both parties,” Ambassador Krutoy told BelTA. 

He further explained that the principles of pricing for natural gas and Russian oil after 2026 are under consideration, with new details requiring expert-level discussions.

“For the period until 2026, all issues in the gas sector have been resolved, including the sensitive issue of pricing,” Krutoy said. This resolution is part of the action plans signed for the Union State agreement for 2024-2026.

From 2026 onwards, both countries aim to develop a pricing algorithm that will bring Belarusian gas prices closer to domestic Russian prices, adjusted to Russian rubles.

Disputes over the price of Russian natural gas supplied to Belarus have been ongoing since 2016. Although the dispute was settled in April 2017 when Gazprom, the world’s largest supplier of natural gas, provided a discounted price for Belarus at $129 per thousand cubic meters in 2018 and $127 in 2019, Belarus considered the price too high, given the turmoil in the global energy market.

The differences over energy supply payments were settled during a meeting between Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Russia Vladimir Semashko, Belarusian Energy Minister Viktor Karanik, and Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee Aleksei Miller in 2020 in St. Petersburg, where the sides reportedly signed a protocol on prices for Russian natural gas supplied to Belarus in 2021.

Since Belarus does not possess domestic oil or gas reserves, it depends heavily on natural gas from its close ally Russia, which annually delivers 20 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas to Minsk.

Additionally, Belarus, a traditionally close ally of Russia, served as an important transit route for Russian oil and gas to Europe, delivering 20 percent of Russian gas through its territory.