The president of Russia Dmitry Medvedev charged "Gazprom" to start restriction of deliveries of gas to Belarus. During working meeting with the chairman of board of "Gazprom" Alexey Miller the head of the state asked to report to him "how the work on negotiations with Belarus concerning the debt for deliveries of gas proceeds and what the results of these negotiations are".
"Belarus recognises the debt for gas but it suggests to pay for it with cars, equipment and other different products", - Miller told. Thus, he ascertained, negotiations came to the end with zero result.
From the beginning of 2010 Belarus pays Russia for gas not under the contract but under the price established by it unilaterally, therefore it already owes about 200 million dollars.
Medvedev underlined that according to the Russian legislation, foreign payments can be accepted only in foreign currency, otherwise it contradicts the law. "Gazprom" can't accept payment in anything - either pies, or oil, either cheese, or other means of payments", - he said.
Medvedev suggested to continue negotiations but ascertained that "most likely" Gazprom "should make some decisions". "What does Gazprom suggest to do in this connection?" - the president of Russia asked.
"According to the contract "Gazprom" should enter restriction for deliveries of gas proportionally to the volume of debt", - Miller answered.
"Since what time? Obviously it will happen in the near future", - the president noted.
Miller specified that "Gazprom" would undertake these steps "since today's morning".
"Then start corresponding procedure keeping interaction with the Belarus partners and pushing them to execution of the contract and following the rules which "Gazprom" has with other countractors", - Medvedev said.
From editorial board: It is possible to ascertain that somehow imperceptibly relations with Belarus from a trend on construction of common state have passed to the category of relations with "other countractos".
In general it is, of course, interesting that goods for debt deal is already impossible in relations between the states - here president Dima again "molded in granite". "Gazprom" can't accept payment by pies and pancakes but sovereign state of Russian Federation - can without ceremony. Besides it did so many times.
And president Lukashenko is in dialogue not with some Miller, who, strictly speaking, is nobody but with the president Medvedev. Otherwise it turns out to be somehow silly - if "Gazprom" is in contact to some not state structures in Belarus, let them solve questions under the law or by the code of criminals - as it's more habitual to them. If we are talking about interstate relations, then what's for to stick a nose in the charter of "Gazprom" and departmental instructions? Why then some Miller reports on his intimate Argie-bargie with the Belarus contractors to the president of the Russian Federation? He'd rather, I should say, will invite the president to "Millerhof" on Istra to complain of falling of incomes of the company...
Position of Belarus is absolutely clear. The Russian gas is necessary to its economy to produce the goods and as these goods are of good quality, are cheap and demanded in the Russian market, why not to pay for gas within the limits of Common Economic Space?
Perhaps, these goods are not necessary?
Why instead of cheap Belarus tractors farmers are, as a matter of fact, imposed American ones which are several times more expensive? Why instead of the Belarus dairy products made of full-cream milk powder substitutes of "Danon" and others which are not possible even to name milk, they are just some type of "dairy drink" are being imposed? Why instead of the Belarus textile of the European at the "Chinese" price we got the Chinese and Turkish goods and under the European brands we have the same China and Turkey only with the western labels which cost three times as much?
Corruption component of such "economy" is obvious but why the president of the Russian Federation protects it? If he also gets in on act with Rosselhozleasing and "Danon"?
Or he, for old time's sake, as the former chairman of board of directors of "Gazprom", keeps "special relations" with this company?
Certainly, the general public prosecutor will not summon the president to appear before court but the questions which are not even asked by the public prosecutor are in the air.
I'd like to say: "Dima, you will not earn more than Putin. That one because of gas deals pushed away Ukraine, you repeat the same story with Belarus. Think of interests of the country, if you happen to be the president. Work off "the credit of trust".
Though whom I could say it to? People say, they disconnected the Internet to the president so that he would not read something undue...
Anatoly Baranov, editor-in-chief of FORUM.msk