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Belarus claims gas deal with Russia is close

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Belarus claims gas deal with Russia is close

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Belarus has claimed it is close to resolving its gas price dispute with Russia, just a day before Gazprom threatens to cut off supplies. Belarus’ Firsty Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko said Minsk had now agreed to pay double its current tarriff for the gas, and that the sole sticking point was the duration of the new contract.

However, Gazprom has denied that a deal is close. Talks are set to resume later today in Moscow. Belarus has threatened to cut transit lines to Germany and Poland if no deal is reached. However, analysts believe alternative sources should protect supply to customers if the threat is carried out. Gasprom is seeking to align its prices to Western levels. Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have all had to accept large price rises.