The issue of the common currency could be brought up for discussion during the meeting of Prime Ministers of Russia and Belarus Vladmimr Putin and Syarhei Sidorski on August 14 in Moscow. It has been stated at a press-conference in Minsk by Russian Ambassador to Belarus Alexander Surikov.
“In the first half of the year Belarus’ adverse balance is more than 6 bn dollars. It could nudge to talks on common currency, in order to zero out this balance,” A. Surikov stated, Interfax informs.
He underlined that he sees “no reasons connected to the Constitution not to introduce the single currency”. “The EU lives with a common currency without a Constitution,” the Ambassador said.
As said by the Russian diplomat, during the meeting of the two Prime Ministers, issues of granting a Russian credit are expected to be discussed, issues of the property of the union, of gas and oil prices and of deeper industrial cooperation. At the same time, the agenda at the moment is being formed, and it’s too early to say what issues will be discussed by the heads of the governments, A. Surikov underlined.
Russian Ambassador: Syamashka’s statements are dangerous
Russian Ambassador to Belarus Alexander Surikov finds statements of the Belarusian governments about reconsidering contracts for gas deliveries dangerous.
“The contract has been signed. To abrogate this agreement would be very dangerous. There is no other gas supplier,” A. Surikov said at the press-conference, commenting on the statement of the first Vice Prime Minster of Belarus Syamashka about the desire of the Belarusian side to review the terms of gas deliveries to Belarus.
As said by Surikov, “next year, the price of gas for Belarus will be set at 80 percent of the price for Poland, minus custom duties and transit costs. The price will clearly hover above $200," he said. “This year, the gas costs $320/ths cu meters to Poland, the price of the next year will exceed $400,” Surikov said. He reminded that change of the gas price after the first quarter of the year connected to the oil price changes should not exceed 7 %.
A. Surikov believes that Belarus has a good way out to lower expenses for gas. “Belarus is on the right way. The list of enterprises reincorporate as joint - stock companies has been published already. The best counterbalance to growing gas and oil prices is attraction of foreign, and in particular Russian investment,” A. Surikov emphasized.
As we have informed, Belarus demands to alter the price formula for gas sold to Belarus by Gazprom. On Friday first Vice Prime Minister of Belarus Uladzimir Syamashka said at the press-conference in Minsk that the government of the country finds it necessary to change the agreement with Russia on gas prices because of world oil prices increase.
“We based on the Russian oil price forecast, predicting its declining, when signing that contract (31 December, 2006). As the civil codes of Russia and Belarus have articles saying a contract may be changed or cancelled due to essential change of circumstances, we offer to start negotiations on cancelling the contract, which is unacceptable, or supplement it to reach a civilised decision on gas price,” U. Syamashka said. U. Syamashka also noted that “if gas price amounted to USD119 per 1,000 cubic meters in the beginning of 2008, we pay now USD127.9 now.” In 2009 the country expects gas price hike, and a cost formula for gas depends on world oil and petroleum products’ price quotations.