MOSCOW, June 21 (UPI) -- Russia's intention to cut gas supplies to Belarus will not disrupt the supply of gas to Europe, Belarus Energy Minister Eduard Tovpinets said.
"Despite the fact that Gazprom has imposed a 15 percent cut on gas supplies to the Republic (of Belarus), the Energy Ministry is taking measures to ensure uninterrupted transit," Tovpinets said, RIA Novosti reported Monday.
Russian energy giant Gazprom and Belarus are negotiating over gas prices. Belarus has been paying $150 per 1,000 cubic meters since January, although Gazprom set the price at $169 per 1,000 cubic meters for January through March and $185 for April through June.
Tovpinets said Gazprom owes Belarus $200 million for transit fees, which would offset what it owes the company.
Early Monday, Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller said the company would gradually cut supplies to Belarus by 85 percent.
A spokeswoman for Lietuvos dujos, a Lithuanian gas supplier, said supplies of Russian gas that flows through Belarus had not dropped yet.