Gazprom has sent Beltransgaz an official warning that supplies of gas could be limited beginning on June 21, Gazprom representative Sergey Kupriyanov said, RIZ-Novosti reports.
He said the limits could be avoided if Belarus pays off its debt to the Russian company. Kupriyanov added that the letter was addressed to Beltransgaz General Director Vladimir Mayorov and to the Belarussian government.
On June 15, Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev said Belarus must pay for the gas with-in five days. If that is not done, he said, Gazprom will limit deliveries.
Russia claims Belarus owes $200 million for gas it has received, but Minks puts the figure at $133 million. The debt has arisen because Belarus is not paying the prices stipulated in its contract, but continues to pay just $150 per 1,000 cubic meters of the fuel. Prices rose in the first quarter to $169 and in the second quarter to $184. Minsk says such prices are too high. Belarussian officials say the price of gas for Belarus is tied to Russian domestic prices. Meanwhile, on June 16 Kupriyanov said no such link exists, Lenta.ru reports.