In the first quarter of 2018, Belarus has become Gazprom’s leading partner in the post-Soviet territory importing 5.993 bn cubic meters of gas. Among world countries, the republic has become the third one surpassing Italy, tut.by reports citing a report of the Russian gas monopoly for January-March 2018. The amount of gas imports to Belarus remained at the same level comparing to the first quarter of 2017 (5.6 bn cubic meters). The second and third buyers of Gazprom’s gas in former USSR countries were Kazakhstan and Ukraine. The latter bought 1.242 bn cubic meters in the beginning of the year (almost 50% of the whole imports in 2017).
Overall, the supply to the post-Soviet market and the rest of Europe in the first quarter increased. Overall, all former USSR republics received 12.511 bn cubic meters of gas (in the same period of last year it was 11.594 bn cubic meters). Europe bought 54.049 bn cubic meters of gas (50.052 bn in the first quarter of 2017). Gazprom’s traditional partner, Germany, stepped up the purchase by almost 1.5 bn cubic meters (from 14.495 to 16.099 bn), while the three other major importers have cut it on, the contrary. Turkey decreased the imports from 8.108 to 7.917 bn, Italy from 5.184 to 4.756 bn, the UK from 5.367 to 4.027 bn.
To remind, last year, Belarus was the fourth one in the list of Gazprom’s major buyers after Germany, Turkey, and Italy. At present, it buys the gas from the Russian company at a price of $129 per 1.000 cubic meters which is one of the lowest prices in Europe. It became possible after Minsk repaid its debt to Gazprom worth more than $720 mn and signed a contract for gas delivery by the end of 2019 with reduction factors for the gas price. Up to date, the parties are in talks on supplies in 2020-2040.
As EADaily reported earlier, according to the Belarussian side, the gas talks are going on with difficulty. As Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko announced at an Atomexpo forum in Sochi, the track of the price movement must be formed in a way so that the price for Belarus is similar to the one at the border of Belarus and Smolensk Region, as “it does not suit us, when it is $60 on one side and $160 on our side,” he said.