Russia and Belarus have deal ready for gas pipeline to Europe

Sep 26, 2011 12:00 AM

A deal allowing Russia's biggest company to take a major stake in a strategic Belarusian pipeline used to deliver natural gas to Europe is reportedly ready.
The chairman of Russian energy giant Gazprom Aleksei Miller said on September 26 that the talks "have been extremely successful".

Miller's comments in the Belarusian capital Minsk came after meetings between Gazprom executives and Belarus's leader, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
Russian and Belarusian negotiators have agreed on contract terms by which Gazprom would purchase a 50 % stake in the Belarusian natural gas transportation company Beltransgaz.

The deal would dramatically increase Gazprom's control over shipments of natural gas moving via Belarus to the European Union -- which has long been a strategic goal for the Russian company.

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