Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with Chairman of the Board of OAO Gazprom Alexei Miller

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President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Chairman of the Board of OAO Gazprom Alexei Miller on 13 September.

The head of state said: “You know that while preparing for the meeting I was surprised to discover that maybe for the first time in many years, which is strange, I have nothing to reproach Gazprom for. We have paid for everything we have bought from you. You have paid for everything you have transported via Belarus. You have done everything you have promised starting with support for children,” noted the head of state.

“New projects and programs, which are offered for today's discussion, are very interesting for us. Therefore, once again I can only thank you for cooperation,” added Aleksandr Lukashenko.

In turn, Alexei Miller spoke highly of the present level of cooperation and mentioned plans to advance it. “There are very good trends in our main business concerning natural gas supplies and transit. This year the volume of supplies to Belarus will rise. The volume of transit will rise, too, primarily via the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline”.

The sides discussed prospects of developing the gas transportation system in Belarus, including by building the gas main Yamal-Europe 2. Alexei Miller expressed an interest in getting this project implemented.

According to the Gazprom head, investments in the reconstruction and modernization of the gas transportation system are being raised. “The volume of investments will rise by 20% in comparison with the previous year. We have already worked out a precise work program together with the Belarus President Administration, the Belarus government. We have determined our priorities and steps. The same applies to raising the capacity of underground gas storage facilities and the reconstruction of gas distribution stations,” said Alexei Miller.

The Chairman of the Board of OAO Gazprom said: “This year the volume of gas stored in underground reservoirs in Belarus is already higher than last year’s. A new quality step will be made next year. First, the volume of maximum daily extraction will be increased in winter and the volume of gas stored in underground facilities will be increased. Just the way you wanted us to do, it will increase the reliability and stability of natural gas supplies to Belarusian consumers in autumn and winter”.

The meeting also touched upon the implementation of social programs in Belarus with Gazprom’s assistance. Their funding will increase by five times in comparison with previous levels. Those are primarily projects designed to take care of children in spheres like sport and healthcare. “Today we are going to sign a new agreement to sponsor a program for the early diagnostics of hearing disorders in children. Later on we plan to continue the work and finance a program for the early diagnostics of eyesight disorders,” said the Gazprom head.

Apart from that, the company provides sponsor aid to the memorial complex Brest Hero Fortress to finance a major overhaul of the southeastern barracks of the citadel and the deployment of a relevant exhibition there. The end of the repairs and the exhibition are supposed to be timed to the 70th anniversary of Belarus’ liberation from the Nazi. Alexei Miller remarked that the visit to the Brest fortress had been very impressive for him.

Apart from that, Gazprom provides aid to the orthodox Christian church. Alexei Miller said he was confident the cooperation will continue in the future.