13 Jan 2010 18:30

Russia, Belarus could continue electricity transit talks Thursday

MOSCOW. Jan 13 (Interfax) - Russia and Belarus plan to continue talks on electricity transit in Moscow on Thursday, a representative of Russian electricity exporter Inter RAO told Interfax.

They will discuss the terms for supplying electricity from Russia to Belarus in 2010, and the cost of electricity transit to the Baltic countries and Russia's Kaliningrad exclave.

The last round of talks took place in Minsk on January 12.

Inter RAO is figuring to supply Belarus with up to 5.5 billion kWh of electricity this year under long-term agreements. But terms and pricing have not been finalized.

Inter RAO announced earlier that it had already submitted its proposals regarding the terms of electricity transit with account taken of compensation for expenses connected with increased transit volumes. It is known that Belarus is unilaterally demanding an increase in transit rates of more than 450%, though Inter RAO's view is that this is not in keeping with the long-term scheme for mutual cooperation between companies.

Russia sends through Belarus to Lithuania and Latvia, as well as the Kaliningrad region, electricity that is unconnected with UES of Russia.

Inter RAO and Belenergo were unable last year to agree on terms for export and transit for this year, and in early 2010 Belarus threatened to limit the Kaliningrad region's access to energy.