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    SPEAKER GRYZLOV: BELARUS AND RUSSIA WILL SETTLE GAS PROBLEM

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    MINSK, March 16 (RIA Novosti correspondent Olesya Luchaninova) - State Duma speaker Boris Gryzlov is confident that Belarus and Russia will settle the gas problem.

    The head of the lower house of the Russian parliament stated on Tuesday upon arrival in Minsk that there were no doubts that the gas issue would be settled taking into account each country's interests.

    According to him, "our national interests are so close that we will find an acceptable and reasonable solution." He indicated that "the present situation is already acceptable and the Belarussian side is concluding short-term gas supply contracts with non-governmental Russian companies." The State Duma speaker stated that "the contracts in question allow Belarus to receive gas on acceptable terms and conditions." Gryzlov is confident that the gas problem should be resolved through a package agreement in which, according to Gryzlov, issues of sale of Beltransgaz shares, their value, gas prices and transit terms and conditions should be decided upon. In his opinion, "gas problems were brought to a boiling point by business entities."

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