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    MOSCOW, March 9, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom and its Belarussian partner, Beltransgaz, will continue negotiations on Russian natural gas supplies to Belarus today. A Gazprom spokesman told RIA Novosti that natural gas shipments through Belarus will also be discussed.

    Gazprom stopped supplying Belarus with natural gas on January 1.

    Presently, Transnafta, a private Russian company, is the only supplier of natural gas to the republic. On March 4, Transnafta agreed to supply Beltransgaz with 660 million cubic meters of gas at the old price i.e. $46.68 per 1,000 cubic meters. According to the Transnafta's data, this amount of natural gas will last until March 10.

    Transnafta is the last independent natural gas supplier that has a contract with the Belarussian side.

    Itera, another independent Russian gas supplier, stopped supplying Belarus with natural gas on February 12. However, it is ready to resume natural gas shipments at $46.68 per 1,000 cubic meters, if an appropriate contract is signed.

    Gazprom insists that Beltransgaz agree to establish a joint Gazprom-Beltransgaz natural gas transportation company before it resumes natural gas shipments to Belarus.

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