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Belarus offers Russia pipelines for cheap gas

Belarus offers Russia pipelines for cheap gas

Belarus is offering Russia total ownership of its gas pipeline network in exchange for cheap gas.
Russia already owns a 50 percent stake in Beltransgaz, the holding company of the strategic transit network, under an $5 billion deal struck in 2006. Russia's Gazprom has been paying off its debt incrementally since, and Belarus has garnered significant discounts on Russian natural gas.
Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko said in televised comments Thursday that the country is ready to cede full control of the pipelines, which also ship Russian gas to Europe, in return for Russian internal market prices on gas. Belarus is currently thought to pay more than $200 per 1,000 cubic meters.
Russia has recently found resistance in garnering control over the sprawling pipeline network of Ukraine, where politicians maintain the transit network is too important to the country's interests to give up.