Russia informs EU of gas dispute with Belarus

Russia has informed the European Union about its gas dispute with Belarus, a European Commission spokeswoman said on Monday.

Marlene Holzner said Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger received a notification letter from Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko.

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said earlier on Monday that Gazprom had started cutting gas supplies to Belarus over the debt. The restriction will gradually rise from 15 to 85 percent of daily supply.

Belarus has refused to pay higher prices this year, which increased to $169 per 1,000 cubic meters for the first quarter and $185 for the second quarter, and has continued to pay last year's rate of $150 instead.

Belarusian First Deputy Energy Minister Eduard Tovpinets on Friday evening announced that Gazprom owed some $200 million to Belarus for gas transit fees to Europe, a charge Gazprom rejects.

Belarus has now admitted its debt but negotiations are underway concerning their repayment.

BRUSSELS, June 21 (RIA Novosti)


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