Gazprom pledges more gas for Belarus this year

OJSC Gazprom (RTS: GAZP) CEO Alexei Miller met with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and assured him that gas deliveries to Belarus would increase this year, the head of state's press service told Interfax on Friday.

OJSC Gazprom (RTS: GAZP) CEO Alexei Miller met with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and assured him that gas deliveries to Belarus would increase this year, the head of state\'s press service told Interfax on Friday.

"We have very good dynamics in our main business for delivering and transiting gas. Delivery volume for Belarus will increase this year. Transit volumes will also grow, primarily via the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline," the press service quoted Miller as saying.

Citing the Gazprom chief, the press service said that investment in the modernization of the gas-transport system will increase.

It said that Miller and Lukashenko discussed prospects for the development of the gas-transport system in Belarus, including the building of the Yamal-Europe-2 trunk pipeline.

Miller "expressed interest in the realization of this project," the service said. "In relation to the previous year, investment volume will increase 20 percent. With the president's administration, the government of Belarus, we have already built a well-defined program, we have determined the priority and precedence of our steps and actions. This concerns increasing the capacity of underground gas storage and the reconstruction of gas-distribution stations," Miller is reported as saying.

Lukashenko told Miller, "Preparing for this meeting, I observed with surprise that, probably for the first time in many years, which is strange, that I can't even reproach Gazprom for anything. We have paid for everything we have bought from you. You have paid for everything you have pumped through us. Everything you promised, starting from support for children, you did."

"New projects and programs proposed by today's discussion very much interest us, so I once again can only thank you for the cooperation," the Belarusian president said.

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