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Russian PM due in Minsk to talk about gas payments

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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will arrive in Minsk on October 27 to attend the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council session. The meeting is expected to discuss a new Customs Code draft and to approve the draft budget of Eurasian Economic Union for the next year. The agenda also includes discussions on the development of a mechanism to control the movement of goods on the territory of Eurasian Economic Union, reports the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

In the buildup to the meeting, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said yesterday that Dmitry Medvedev could also discuss while in Minsk the issue of payments for the Russian natural gas supplies. Belarus is yet to pay $281 million in arrears for the Russian gas supplies since early this year. The payment is tied to several other agreements that are part of a bigger package of bilateral agreements between the governments of Belarus and Russia yet to be signed.

The Eurasian Economic Union includes five countries - Belarus, Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The union became effective on January 1, 2015.