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    MOSCOW, January 16 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian and Belarussian Prime Ministers, Mikhail Kasyanov and Sergei Sidorenko, will conduct negotiations in Moscow on Friday.

    Russian Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko said yesterday that Russia's and Belarus's positions in the gas sphere with regard to Russian oil pipelines had become closer.

    As earlier reported, beginning with January 1, 2004, Russian gas is delivered to Belarus at contract prices, which are almost the same as the prices to Ukraine.

    Russia says that in order to resume the deliveries at the Russian internal prices, a joint Russian-Belarussian gas transport venture should be created.

    Under the bilateral agreement, the documents on the creation of such a joint venture had to be drawn up in the middle of 2003. However, the sides have yet to come to an agreement about the terms of creating the enterprise.

    In regard to Russian oil pipelines, in 2003 Belarus announced its ownership right to the oil pipelines in its territory, though according to the Bishkek agreement they are Russian property.

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