"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Another price rise forced on Belarus by Gazprom

After President Putin's weekend visit to Minsk in Belarus it was announced that ed $1.5 billion in loans wre to be provided to help its economy adjust to rising prices. They also signed a Belarusian-Russian intergovernmental agreement on equal conditions in railway pricing policy.

Belarus will also pay 19% more for Russian gas in 2008 - US $ 119 (82 Euros) . Following a dispute over energy prices at the beginning of 2007, Gazprom forced Belarus to accept a doubling of gas prices this year -- to $100 per thousand cubic meters -- and an unspecified increase for 2008.

Sergei Kupriyanov, of Gazprom, said on Saturday that Belarus would pay US$119 in 2008. This was a relief as there had been talk of a rise of 50% and planners were working on a price of US $125.

President Putin's visit to Belarus produced calls for closer cooperation but yielded no signs that the neighbors were moving toward the creation of a unified state. The two countries signed an agreement in 1996 that envisioned close political, economic and military ties, but efforts to achieve a full merger have foundered.

I hope today as issues on the agenda of the Union’s Supreme State Council (SSC) session are discussed, we will be united by an urge towards taking more energetic steps with a view to forming the common economic space, creating a full-fledged Customs Union, removing the remaining trade barriers,” President Putin stressed during a session of the Supreme State Council.

Since the founding of the Union State the trade between Belarus and Russia has quadrupled from US$5,2 billion in 1995 to US$19,9 billion in 2006. In January-September this year, the Byelarussian–Russian trade reached IS$18,1 billion, up 22.8% over the same period last year and is expected to exceed US$23 Bn in 2007.

President Lukashenko repeated an earlier statement that Belarus would join forces with Russia in opposing U.S. plans for a missile shield in Europe.

A senior Russian general said last month that Moscow could provide Belarus with short-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads as part of the Kremlin's response to U.S. plans for missile defense facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Last month he suggested deploying missiles in Belarus in retaliation for the proposed U.S. missile shield.Belarus, already hosts a Russian-operated early-warning radar system (The Pechora-type large phased array radar (LPAR) at Baranovichi (nr Minsk) in Belarus commenced construction in 1985._and a limited number of Russian military personnel.

PS 25% of EU gas originates in Russia at present. The volume of imports rises every year.

Watch Byelorussian TV live (Russian language) here (Windows Media)
Listen to English Language Byelorussian Radio here

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