Armenia and Belarus do not accept the proposed common formula of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) countries for gas prices, RF President Vladimir Putin declared.
The formula was proposed in the draft EAEU Development Strategy until 2025.
– The project has been practically agreed, with the exception of one item regarding gas transportation tariffs, Putin noted, speaking at a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council by means of videoconference.
– There is a formula supported by three countries: Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Its essence is that approaches to gas pricing could be determined later in the negotiations on the EAEU common gas market formation. This formula has not yet been accepted by our Armenian and Belarusian colleagues. They have their own point of view on this issue, Putin said.
Minsk and Yerevan are in favor of adopting a uniform tariff for gas transportation and transit services. According to the President of Russia, the EAEU is not ready for this yet.
The application of a unified gas tariffs formula in the EAEU requires a certain level of integration which has not been achieved at the moment, the President of the Russian Federation declared.
– As for a uniform tariff for gas transportation and transit services proposed by our Armenian and Belarusian friends, we believe that a uniform tariff can only be implemented on a shared market with a single budget and an integrated taxation system. Such a deep level of integration has not yet been achieved in the EAEU, Putin said, speaking at a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council.
– In the meantime, gas prices should be formed on the basis of market conditions, take into account the costs and investments of suppliers, as well as provide a reasonable rate of return on capital invested in production. This is common – I want to emphasize it, dear colleagues – common world practice, Putin added.
In turn, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko declared during the meeting that the issue of pricing for gas transportation services on the EAEU common market has remained unresolved for several years now, and the urgency of the problem is constantly growing.
There is certain logic in the objections of Minsk and Yerevan. Belarus and Armenia want to reduce the price for Russian natural gas they buy, and this desire can be explained. Minsk and Yerevan, being close allies of Moscow, are currently buying gas from Russia at a higher price than the EU countries. Orient already reported that, in addition to Belarus and Armenia, Kyrgyzstan has also requested Russia to lower the natural gas price.