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Belarus Gas Deal Has Sweet Terms

Belarus will get reduced prices from Gazprom in the second half of this year and will be allowed to delay some payments, following the agreement to sell the Russian gas giant its national pipeline operator.

Beltransgaz, the Belarussian operator, will pay $244.80 per 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas for second-half supplies, Moscow-based Gazprom said Tuesday in an e-mailed statement. That represents a 12 percent discount from previously contracted third-quarter prices and is 20 percent less than the fourth-quarter level, according to the statement.

President Dmitry Medvedev and his Belarussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko agreed to slash gas prices next year at a Nov. 25 meeting near Moscow as the countries integrate into a single economic zone and Belarus struggles to contain a balance of payments crisis.

Beltransgaz will pay for part of the second-half gas supplies this year and the rest in monthly installments next year, Gazprom said.

Belarus will pay $165.60 per 1,000 cubic meters for gas deliveries next year, according to the Nov. 25 agreement. Belarus in return agreed to allow Gazprom to buy the half of the operator that it didn't already own for $2.5 billion.

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