01:47 GMT +318 July 2018
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    MOSCOW, JANUARY 15. /RIA NOVOSTI / -- Russia and Belarus have become closer to each other in gas cooperation and the situation around the Russian oil products pipelines in Belarus, Russian Vice-Premier Victor Khristenko said after talks on Moscow on Thursday with Belarussian Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko.

    Khristenko said that the sides "have gained more understanding" on how to settle the two problems. He voiced the hope that, at the meeting slated for Friday, they would "commit it to paper".

    On the decision of its government, on January 1 Russia has ended the supplies of natural gas to Belarus on preferential - intra-Russian - prices. Moscow insists on the establishment of a joint gas-transport enterprise as a term for resuming gas supplies for such prices. Documents on establishing the enterprise were to be prepared back in the middle of last year, but the sides have not yet reached agreement on its operation.

    The problem of Russian oil products lines passing across Belarus emerged after Minsk in 2003 declared its right of property of such facilities. Under the agreement reached earlier between the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, including Belarus, these pipelines are the property of Russia.

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