Russian energy company Gazprom is growing frustrated with the pace of negotiations on natural gas supply and transit contracts with Belarus, an official said.
Alexei Miller, the top executive at Gazprom, said during a telephone conversation with Vladimir Semashko, first deputy prime minister of Belarus, that talks would continue in September on the purchase of a 50 percent stake in Beltransgaz and new gas supply and transit contracts.
Miller said he regretted talks were taking so long.
"Our colleagues have overlooked the time when they could first settle the Beltransgaz-related issues and then sign the gas supply and transit agreements as a 100 percent owner of the company," he said in a statement.
"Nevertheless, we have every opportunity to settle the outstanding issues long before the expiry of the existing contract for gas supply to Belarus."
Inflation in Belarus is in the double digits and the country's president in June threatened to close the borders if there were a fiscal emergency.
Minsk had said escalating natural gas prices paid to Russia were in part to blame. Natural gas prices for Belarus rose from a first-quarter level of $233 per 1,000 cubic meters to $244.70 per 1,000 cubic meters for the second quarter. A gas discount from Russia expires later this year, after which natural gas will be pegged to market conditions.