Russia and Belarus have settled a dispute over gas, which threatened supply to the rest of Europe. With each of the countries accusing the other of owing money, and each making payment, gas flow is back to normal.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belrus:
“We have paid all of our debt and we are asking Gazprom “please, stop the gas supply limitations”. I know that some (European) countries like Germany and Lithuania say that they are not receiving all their gas, but they have to ask Gazprom about the situation, not us”
About a fifth of Europe’s supply of Russian gas is pumped through Belarus, a flow which started to be restricted on Monday. And though both countries have been focusing on the financial aspects, analysts feel it’s really political wrangling on both sides.
However, Russia is emphasising its wish to stay friendly.
Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin:
“It is a conflict with a country that holds special relationship with Russia. Besides that, I would like to point out that the Belarussian partners are receiving Russian natural gas at the lowest possible price.”
Last week, Russia accused Belarus of not paying Gazprom when prices rose. In turn, Belarus said Gazprom hadn’t paid transit costs. Though both have now made payments, amounts weren’t agreed, so another dispute could flare up.