Russian ambassador says Belarus violating gas contract with Russia

MINSK, June 11 (Itar-Tass) -- Belarus is violating its payment liabilities under gas contracts with Russia, Russia's ambassador to Minsk Alexander Surikov said on Friday.

"If last year there was a verbal agreement between the two presidents to pay for gas an average annual price of 148 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic metres, this year, when oil and gas prices are on the rise, the situation has changed, but Belarus still pays as verbally agreed last year, although this agreement has not been extended," Surikov told a news conference.

"This is a violation of the contract," he stressed. In his words, Belarus' current debt exceeds 192 million U.S. dollars, and "there is no tendency of its decrease."

"There is a debt, which must be repaid, otherwise the situation is bound to worsen," the Russian diplomat said.


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