At the meeting dedicated to the problems and perspectives of Belarusian Science Alexander Lukashenko spoke about the results of the negotiations with Vladimir Putin.
Vladimir Shimov, rector of Belarus State Economic University:
We understand perfectly well that economy always depends on science, and science depends on economy. You visited Russia not so long ago. We would like to find out the results of your visit. It would be rather interesting for us and to those people whom we work with.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus:
As for the various insinuations, especially coming from the Russian officials, they probably were not very satisfied with the results of the negotiations that I had with President Putin, because everyone had interests of their own there, everyone wanted their own way, but it turned out to be different. I can’t say that we managed to reach those results and fulfill those aims that we set for ourselves at the very beginning. In a way it was a compromise but very beneficial for Belarus. We would like to end the contract with Gazprom, which ends this year, as it is. There is $130. We want the price to stay $130 till the end of the year. I say that such a price doesn’t exist, taking into consideration our agreements. President Putin says that understands. Let’s agree on a compensation of this price that Belarus and Russia want, and take these $30. Where do we take them from? Vladimir Putin said that Russia is prepared to give Belarus six million every year at the expense of oil reexport (this year, in 2018 and 2019), until oil refineries are modernized till the very end, to give six million tons of oil to Belarus. Belarus will reexport and will keep the tariff rate. I demanded the government to calculate whether it would be beneficial or not. Yes, it is beneficial. President Putin asked me how much it will be this year. I said that I did not do the calculations, because it is his offer. He told me that it would cost half a billion dollars. I said that it was not such a bad figure. What is more, we imported about one million tons of petrol to Russia, whether it was beneficial or not. Belarus was obliged to export 95 petrol to Russia but was losing $150m annually. We agreed together with President Putin that this is over and done with. Belarus won’t be exporting this petrol anymore. As many as $150 plus to the $500m, all together $650m of Belarus’ losses because of Russia's underliveries to Belarus this and the previous year. When the oil delivery was curtailed, Belarus suffered some losses, and plus this difference in prices. All in all, Russia reduced the gas prices for Belarus by means of their oil. What difference does it make for Belarus? I agreed to it. Plus, the price is the task for the government; we have already discussed the issue, so that the price would be not in dollars, but in Russian rubles. Then Belarus will be less dependent or not dependent at all on the fluctuations, foreign exchange risk and so on.