However the firm details of what was agreed remain sketchy. Gazprom’s statement noted that the Russian gas giant was ready to pipe gas to Belarus based on a contract sealed for 2005.

The two sides also welcomed the progress being made to upgrade infrastructure in the region, including the construction of two compressor stations designed to boost gas transport capacity in Belarus.

Mr Semashko raised the prospect of creating a joint venture company to improve the reliability of gas transmissions across the country, Gazprom said in the statement.