Belarussian side hopes to receive Russian gas in 2004 at the inner-Russian prices. First deputy director general of the Beltransgaz company Tsvitomir Sorokhan spoke about it at a conference of controller services of the gas companies of Belarus, Russia, Poland and Germany.
Belarus will strive to conclude a contract with the Russian Gazprom in the established timeframe, underscored Sorokhan. "This is a complicated, not easy process of negotiations, but we must find mutually advantageous solutions," he said.
In his turn, head of the Gazprom central production controller board Boris Posyagin said that the forecast balance of the amount of the Russian gas deliveries to Belarus in 2004 remained at the level of 2003 - 18.5 billion cubic meters. This figure includes, according to him, the gas deliveries through the ITERA company.
However, Belarus asked for 20.5 billion cubic meters.
Boris Posyagin underscored that there was no final balance for 2004 yet. He did not exclude, however, that "the amount of Russian gas deliveries to Belarus may increase, but only slightly." "At the present time the Russian side guarantees the amount of the deliveries in 2004 at the level of 2003," said the Gazprom spokesman.
Representatives of the Israeli Defence Ministry responded to recent reports about the possible delivery of S-300 SAM systems from Russia to Syria. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel would destroy those systems
Russia is to start supplying S-300 air defence systems to Syria in the near future. The shipments will be conducted free of charge