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Russia’s Gazprom seeks takeover of Belarus’s Beltransgaz

Russian energy giant Gazprom has confirmed intentions on acquiring control over Belarusian gas pipeline operator, Beltransgaz.

Andrei Kruglov, Gazprom’s deputy CEO, discussed his company’s interest in boosting its stake in the company. This comes a few years after the company purchased 50 percent of Beltrangaz’s shares in 2007 indicating Gazproms’s intention to increase their control over the Belarusian pipeline.

“As for Gazprom’s corporate policy in the investment area, we are striving to obtain control,” he said to local media in Minsk.

According to Kruglov, the company would “correct its business plan based on inter governmental relations.”

“Gazprom’s investment in Beltransgaz is part of an agreement at the inter-governmental level and is fully compliant with internal corporate investment policy for the development of transport infrastructure.”

He added that the company would look carefully at possible investment yields. “We will be making sure that in the future out input corresponds with the yield standards.”

The company could also seek the Belarussian government’s minority stake in Belgazprombank, the second largest bank in Belarus outside the state sector.

“That depends on the government of Belarus. It could decide to hold onto its stake in Belgazprombank, and if it does, we’ll support that. It those shares are put up for sale, of course the shareholders will think about the proposal,” said Kruglov while also adding that Gazprom is satisfied with their current level of involvement in Belgazprombank.

The mid-annual price for the Russian gas was established for Belarus in 2010 at $171.5 for one thousand cubic meters.

Kruglov has also pointed out that Belarusian debts for supplied gas now reach $94.5 million. He has declared that Gazprom expects to obtain repayment of Belarusian debts this year.

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