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UPDATE 1-Russia's Gazprom signs deal on gas prices with Belarus for 2021

(Updates with Belarus’ statement)

MOSCOW, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Russia and Belarus said on Thursday they had signed a deal on gas prices for 2021, easing tensions between the two former Soviet countries.

Russian gas giant Gazprom said its chief executive Alexei Miller and Belarussian officials had signed a protocol on how to calculate natural gas prices for 2021 supplies.

Belarus’s energy ministry said the agreed prices were broadly on a par with the levels in 2020, but still below prices calculated by a formula agreed in 2011.

The price this year was $127 per 1,000 cubic metres.

Relations between neighbouring Russia and Belarus have been uneasy in recent years over a number of issues.

However, Moscow has supported Belarussian leader Alexander Lukashenko amid street protests that challenged his victory in the Aug. 9 presidential election.

Russia and Belarus have yet to agree on Russian oil supplies for next year. They have also failed to reach a deal on compensation for contaminated oil found last year in the Druzhba pipeline that exports Russian crude. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin. Editing by Mark Potter)

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