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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Wednesday he expected Russia
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Wednesday he expected Russia to cut by two or three times its gas prices for Belarus in 2009.

"Gas prices for Belarus will fall. They will fall significantly - by two or three times - and will be acceptable to us on the whole," the president said, without specifying a price.

Lukashenko and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, agreed on gas payments and supplies at a meeting in Moscow on Monday. The new gas price for Belarus was not announced, however.

Belarus was paying $119.53 for 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas in the first half of 2008, but it was increased to $127.9 in the second. This summer Belarusian authorities said they expected the price to top $200 in 2009.

An official spokesman for the Russian energy giant Gazprom, Sergei Kupriyanov, said the company still negotiates the terms and conditions of gas supplies in 2009.

"Our Belarusian colleagues will visit [Russia] by the end of this year," he said, adding that no deals have so far been signed.

The gas price for Belarus will be "mutually acceptable," he added.


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