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Gazprom and Belarus have come to an "understanding" on the price the Russian company will charge Belarus for its gas in 2009, Gazprom's spokesman said on Saturday.

"We have understanding about the pricing terms we will get through this year with. I think it will be possible to disclose this very soon," Sergei Kupriyanov told reporters on the fringes of a current international gas summit in Moscow.

"We do have a preliminary agreement on the terms for a contract given the fact that we do have a contract that is in effect, a medium-term contract," Kupriyanov said. "There has been no urgent need to sign all the papers at the end of last year." "We are very grateful to our Belarusian counterparts that, in this pretty difficult situation, they have been able to seriously build up volumes of gas transmission through Belarus, both through the Yamal- Europe pipeline and through the networks of Beltransgaz," Kupriyanov said in reference to impeded supplies of Russian gas to Europe as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian gas row.

"This has considerable helped us in this crisis situation," he said.

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