Belarus PM wants same gas price as Russian regions
READ MORE eak]
The two countries, traditionally allies, have been at odds since the start of the year over how much Minsk should pay Russia's Gazprom for gas supplies following a slump in global energy prices.
Minsk, which says a gas price set by Gazprom of $132 per 1,000 cubic metres is too high, has been paying less on delivery since the start of the year and Gazprom says it is owed $270 million for the first six months of 2016 alone.
Belarus, a major transit route for Russian gas to Europe, has previously said a price of $73 would be reasonable.
Kobyakov, in the interview, said he thought a "fair price" would be the same as that paid by Russian regions adjacent to his country.
"If in the regions that border Belarus the gas price is more than two times cheaper, it is obvious that the competitiveness of the goods which Belarus is producing will be quite a bit worse than in Russia," Kobyakov said.
"So we are saying: 'We don't mind if you raise prices to levels matching Belarus... But if you can't raise prices at home, then adjust the price for Belarus to yours." ■
What to read next