MOSCOW -(Dow Jones)- Russia Wednesday stepped up pressure on neighboring Belarus by cutting gas supplies by 60%, but said transit to Europe remains unaffected.
Natural gas deliveries were cut to 60% of normal volumes at 0600 GMT, because Belarus still hadn't made any efforts to pay its gas bill, Alexei Miller, chief executive of Russian state gas firm OAO Gazprom (GAZP.RS), said.
Natural gas is still flowing unaffected through Belarus to European consumers, Miller said.
Monday, Gazprom starting reducing gas deliveries to Belarus, because it says its ex-Soviet neighbor owes it $195 million for gas.
Europe depends on Russia for around 25% of its gas needs, of which a quarter flows though Belarus.
-By Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen,