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    RUSSIA, BELARUS TO CONTINUE GAS NEGOTIATIONS

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    MOSCOW, January 27th, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - In the next few days, Russia's Gazprom joint stock company and Belarus' Beeltransgaz will continue negotiating the terms of Russian gas deliveries and transit to Belarus in 2004, says Gazprom's press release forwarded to RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

    In the past few days, these problems were high on the agenda of the meeting between Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Beltransgaz Director General Peter Petukh.

    Upon the end of the first round of talks on Monday, Miller said, "Despite some progress in the negotiations, we have not reached mutually acceptable agreements yet." According to Gazprom, in 2003 the holding met its commitments on natural gas deliveries to Belarus in full for lower prices (912 roubles per 1,000 cubic metres, with $1 equalling nearly 29 roubles). Aggregate gas supplies amounted to 10.2 billion cubic metres.

    Since January 1, 2004 Gazprom delivered no gas to Belarus. The latter has been receiving gas from independent suppliers, and is due to get about 2 billion cubic metres of gas in January.

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