The Itera gas supplier has not confirmed information about signing a contract on natural gas supplies with Belarus to cover its fuel deficits as yet. An Itera representative told RBC that the price on gas was "a very delicate question" and Itera was not going to comment on this issue before the negotiations were completed.
According to earlier reports, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov met with journalists after a meeting with Belarusian Prime Minister Gennady Novitsky and announced that tension in relations between Russia and Belarus regarding the natural gas sector had been removed. According to Kasyanov, Belarusian officials are expected to sign contracts with natural gas suppliers today to cover deficits in fuel supplies. Kasyanov also noted that Russian companies had "fulfilled their obligations under contracts in full, there were no violations of the related agreements, and the Belarusian side has recognized this fact."
According to information provided by the Russian government, the overdue debt of Belarus for supplies and consumption of Russian natural gas amounted to more than $80m in 2002.