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  Russia is getting ready for the “gas war” with Belarus

2009 06 17

President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenka did not participate in the Summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), because of the so called milk war, which started on 6 June 2009, when the Russian procurement supervision agency placed an embargo on the import of approximately 600 Belarusian milk products into the territory of Russia.

Оn 14 June 2009 the MFA of the Republic released the statement about the “peremptory disapproval” by the Belarusian authorities of the actions taken by the Russian side, which "undermine the economic security" of Belarus, refusing subsequently to participate in the ordinary session of CSTO.

The Moscow summit was aimed at signing the Agreement on Collective Forces of joint rapid-reaction by seven member states. The document was supposed to facilitate the extension of agreements concluded in March 2009 between Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Armenia and Uzbekistan.

Consequently, the Agreement was signed by six member states, because of the absence of the Belarusian delegation (and taking into consideration “the special view of Uzbekistan), and the CSTO presidency was passed over from Armenia to Russia, despite the fact that the rotation was due to Minsk. Belarusian MFA responded with the statement of the illegitimacy of the document signed in the absence of Lukashenka. The Russian authorities of domestic affairs, however, considered the arguments of Minsk insubstantial.

As noted in the publication “Коmmersant“, one of the high-ranking officers in the administration of Dmitrij Medvedev, stated: „We are not particularly disappointed with the behaviour of Belarus. Obviously someone is simply bored of being the president of this country.“

„Kommersant“ has further clarified that the Kremlin is preparing a „Gas attack" for Minsk.

By the end of May 2009, the RF adviser from the Russian Embassy in Belarus on economic issues Andrej Kuznecov stated, that Belarus is not fully paying for the Russian gas. The price for gas in the first quarter of the year was supposed to be USD 210 for the amount of one thousand cubic metres, however, the circulating payment accounts for about USD 150”, stated then the diplomat.

Material has been prepared by the Centre for Geopolitical Studies with reference to the article from “Telegraf.lv“ of 15 06 2009.

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