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Pisalnik, Andrzej

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Rzeczpospolita - Poland | 27/12/2006

The gas dispute between Belarus and Russia

Russia wants to increase the price Belarus pays for its gas and is threatening to cut off supplies if President Lukashenko doesn't agree. The newspaper's Moscow correspondents Ignacy Morawski and Andrzej Pisalnik comment that despite Gazprom's reassurances to the contrary the dispute could threaten gas supplies to Europe as a whole. "The negotiations between the government in Minsk and Gazprom have broken down... Although the powers that be in Moscow have promised that they will do everything possible to make sure that supplies to Europe are not affected even if they do cut off Belarus's supplies, the experts don't believe these promises." The two journalists point to what happened the last time Moscow tried to put up the gas prices for Belarus early in 2004. Belarus stockpiled its gas and "the result was that Poland and other EU states suffered shortages."

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