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    Russia, Belarus Fail to Settle Gas Dispute - Energy Minister Novak

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    Russia and Belarus have failed to resolve the ongoing gas dispute, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak stated Thursday.

    GORKI (Moscow surburb) (Sputnik) — Moscow and Minsk have failed to resolve the ongoing gas dispute as the Belarusian side has taken an nonconstructive stance on the debt repayment issue, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Thursday.

    "The talks have ended…unfortunately, we failed to reach an agreement on the settlement of the conflict," Novak told reporters.

    According to Novak, the Belarusian side is not ready to pay off the accumulated $700-million debt without serious timeline and price concessions from Russia.

    "The Belarusian position is certainly not constructive, but the talks will continue…and we are hoping that the Belarusian stance will be more constructive in the future," Novak stressed.

    Moscow and Minsk are negotiating the price of Russian gas supplied to Belarusian consumers. Minsk has been refusing to recognize that it has an outstanding debt, saying that the price of $132.77 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas demanded by Moscow is unfair. Russia has stressed that payments must be made in line with the existing contract.

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    Tags:
    gas dispute, settlement, Russian Energy Ministry, Alexander Novak, Belarus, Russia
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