Gazprom's Happy New Year

A Dec. 31 deal that more than doubles the price that Belarus will pay for gas is the latest notch in the Russian energy giant's belt

Belarus' last-minute agreement to pay Gazprom $100 for every 1,000 cubic meters in Russian gas supplies—more than double what the Belarusians paid before—marks the latest victory in Gazprom's year of tough negotiations with customers. If Belarus had not signed, the former Soviet Republic would have been cut off from its gas supply. In turn, Belarus had threatened to shut down the flow of gas through its territory from Russia to Western Europe.

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