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    BELARUSSIAN PRESIDENT TO DISCUSS GAS SHIPMENTS WITH BELARUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 24 (RIA NOVOSTI) - President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus may meet with Belarussian Ambassador to Russia Vladimir Grigoryev on February 24 to discuss Russian natural gas deliveries to Belarus, the Belarussian embassy in Moscow said.

    On February 18, Russia's principal gas concern, Gazprom, shut off gas to Belarus because Beltransgaz, which has a monopoly on all Russian gas sales in Belarus, was siphoning gas. Gas shipments that traveled through the republic were stopped as well. The president of Belarus said that Belarussian-Russian relations will remain strained for a while. Mr. Lukashenko also summoned the Belarussian ambassador to Russia to Minsk for consultations.

    Russia restored gas deliveries to Belarus on February 19. Gazprom also voiced its readiness to discuss the possibility of supplying gas to Belarus at Russian domestic prices and establishing a joint venture.

    Gazprom and Beltransgaz will continue negotiations on Russian gas deliveries to Belarus and on the relevant contracts between both companies on February 24.

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