Russia cut natural gas supplies to Belarus on Monday after Minsk failed to settle 200 million US dollars in arrears, Gazprom's chief said, brandishing again the country's energy clout and raising the spectre of supply disruption to Europe.
"The debt has not been paid," Alexei Miller said in televised remarks. "From 10 am Moscow time on 21 June 2010 we are introducing a regime of limiting supplies of Russian gas to Belarus by 15 percent of the planned daily volume."
The gas cuts would be ramped up to 85 percent in proportion to the volume of debt, Miller added. He did not specify a time frame for the graduated supply reduction.