Who needs money? In a three-way deal, the Russian government subtracted US$250 million from the uncollectable billions owed in taxes by Gazprom, the natural-gas monopoly; Gazprom canceled a claim against Belarus for US$250 million for past deliveries; and Belarus agreed to ship to Russia goods valued for the purpose at US$250 million. … Working on ways to offset the tab he will run up this winter, Belarusan President Alyaksandr Lukashenka told Russian workers that their government should pay Belarus US$1 billion a year for contributions to the air defense against NATO and fork over US$3 billion a year in aid, as the United States does for its “strategic ally Israel.” But don’t get the wrong idea, he warned: “our strategic partnership is not for sale.”