Beltransgaz, Gazprom to continue gas debt talks on July 25 in Minsk

Belarus will continue talks on July 25 in Minsk with the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom over the postponement of debt payments for the Russian gas supplied to Belarus over the past six months of 2007, the press office of the Russian company said.
Towards the end of the last week, the Belarusian delegation flew to Moscow to discuss the situation over the payments for the gas. Belarus has indebted almost $450 million despite buying only 55 percent of the total cost in the first half of 2007.

On June 4, 2007 Gazprom wired $ 625 million for 12.5 percent of Beltransgaz's shares. The Russian side hoped that Belarus would use this money to pay off for the supplied gas. But Belarus's first vice prime minister Uladzimir Siamashka announced in May that the money would be used for the implementation of investment projects.

The payment deadline expired on July 23. On the same day, Belarus's Energy Minister Alexander Aziarets arrived in Moscow but his talks with Gazprom's deputy chairman Valery Golubev yielded no result. The sides agreed to continue talks on July 25 in Minsk where the meeting of Beltransgaz's shareholders is going to take place, reports Belapan.