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Page added on December 29, 2006

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Belarus delegation heads for gas talks in Moscow

MINSK (Reuters) – A Belarus delegation headed for Moscow on Friday in a last-minute attempt to settle a gas pricing row with Russia, which could threaten supplies to Europe in the New Year.

Russia’s gas monopoly Gazprom, the main Russian protagonist in the dispute, would not speculate on whether it expected Belarus to back down and share pipelines and pay higher prices for gas from 2007 as it demanded.

A Gazprom source, who did not wish to be identified, sought to dampen expectations, saying: “We may find out that they are flying here to say that they have got nothing new to say.”

A Belarus Energy Ministry official told Reuters before the delegation left Minsk: “The aim is to sign a contract. We hope to do it before the New Year.”

Reuters



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