Belarus says will sort out Gazprom row

SHKLOV Belarus, June 18 (Reuters) - Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said on Friday that he did not think his country had any debts outstanding for Russian gas, but would settle any disagreement over the issue.

Russia has said Belarus has until Monday to pay its energy monopoly Gazprom $192 million in debt for this year's deliveries or else it will cut 85 percent of its neighbour's gas supplies.

Lukashenko said that he had asked Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to consider having Belarus pay last year's gas prices in light of recent price cuts for Ukraine and possible decreases for Hungary.

"If you come at it from Russia's perspective then it is a debt. If you come at it from what I talked about, there is no debt. I think we will work something out," Lukashenko told reporters.

Gazprom says Belarus has been paying $150 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas, instead of the $169.20 that the company charged in the first quarter and $184.80 in the second.

Lukashenko said that the recent bickering between the two states was not how allies should act.

"It is impermissible to act like this towards a partner government, towards people who rotted together side by side in the trenches," Lukashenko said in reference to the world war.

(Reporting by Andrei Makhovsky; writing in Moscow by Jessica Bachman; Editing by Lidia Kelly)


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