Belarus to pay unpaid Russia gas bill

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Belarus to pay unpaid Russia gas bill

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Belarus has said it will pay an unpaid gas bill following an earlier move by Russia’s state owned monopoly Gazprom to start cutting supplies.

Moscow began to turn the tap off, restricting deliveries by 15 percent, and warned Minsk it would reduce the flow on a daily basis unless the outstanding debt of 150 million euros was paid.

Speaking about the situation, Russia’s premier Vladimir Putin admitted the technical means were at Belarus’ disposal to siphon off gas destined for Europe. But said there was the possibility of redirecting the flow through other pipelines, including the one through Ukraine.’‘

Despite Belarus initially challenging the Kremlin’s demands, it now appears to have done a u-turn after President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the reduction.

There were concerns the spat could have resulted in a disruption of deliveries to other parts of Europe, notably Lithuania, Poland and Germany.

For the moment, those fears appear to have been allayed.