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Gazprom, Belarus hold gas debt talks

Officials from Russian gas giant Gazprom and the Belarus government are holding talks on ways to eliminate Belarus’s gas debts.

“We have no conflict with Belarus,” Sergei Kupriyanov, Gazprom spokesman, told Ekho Moskvy radio. “I hope this situation will once again remind our Belarusian colleagues that they should not extrapolate corporate relations onto interstate ones. Contracts must be honored, and we hope our colleagues will do that, while we will guarantee them the unfailing fulfillment of our commitments.”

Last Friday Gazprom threatened to reduce gas deliveries to Belarus by 45% if the country did not pay the debt of nearly $460 million. After countless talks, Gazprom agreed to abstain from the limits if Belarus paid the entire debt before August 10 and transferred current payments on time. Belarus paid two-thirds of the debt, about $300 million.

Under the gas delivery contract, Belarus will pay for 55% of the deliveries in the H1 of this year and finish paying off the remaining debt by the end of December. The contract set the gas price at $100 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas. (metimes.com)