Lukashenka slams Gazprom ahead of payment deadline

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Gazprom cashes in on Belarus by raising the gas price tag, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenka said on Saturday attending a farmers' festival in Rechytsa. "Next year they want to raise the price by another 15-20 percent", he said. During the negotiations over the new gas deal for the next year, Belarus will have a "very rigid motivation".

Lukashenka also stressed that the issues of price for the gas would be closely linked with the transit of the Russian gas through Belarus.

At the same time, the Belarusian leader promised that Belarus would sign a new deal with Gazprom by the end of this year, reports Interfax.

On September 23 Belarus is expected to pay for the gas supplied in August. In July, Belarus paid around $150 million. The Russian company is expecting a similar amount this time again.