Russia gives Belarus five days to pay for gas

Russian gas monopoly Gazprom threatened to cut the gas supply to Belarus in five days' time, the RIA Novosti news agency reported on Tuesday.

"According to the contract signed by Gazprom and Minsk, we have well-grounded reason to cut supplies if Belarus does not cut its debt," Gazprom's CEO Alexei Miller told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Medvedev responded with a proposal to give Belarus five days to fulfill its obligation, considering that "Belarus is our partner."

"Otherwise, we'll have to use strict measures," the Russian president stressed.

Medvedev discussed the issue of payments for gas supplies with his Belarussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko during their latest meeting.

Currently Minsk reportedly owes Gazprom 200 million U.S. dollars. Gazprom has sent to Minsk two letters reminding of the debt for gas shipment.

"But we did not get any reply on when exactly the payments will be made," Miller said.


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