"We are asked to sell for about $300-400 million, that is for the book cost, what is valued by foreign auditors at $5 billion," the Belorussian leader said when appearing at the Beltransgaz company. "We are not that rich to throw such funds about. If, in conditions of a market economy, a national asset is sold to another state for its book cost, this means it is given away almost gratis-I can't do this. I can't commit this crime against my people." The Belorussian president also referred to talks with Gazprom on the purchase of Russian gas as very painstaking.
The debt of Beltransgaz to Russia's Gazprom is estimated at $131.64 million, including the penalty.