No debt owed to Russian Gazprom: Belarusian leader

MOSCOW, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Belarus has no outstanding debt for Russian gas supplies, said the country's President Alexander Lukashenko on Friday.

Russian energy monopoly Gazprom warned on Thursday the company could slash gas deliveries to Belarus by 85 percent from June 21 due to outstanding debts, which were unpaid portion that may include interest accrued on the balance.

"Our talks are ongoing. From Russia's perspective, there is a gas debt, but based on what I have just said, there is no debt," Lukashenko was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency.

"I believe we will come to terms," he added.

However, he said that Belarus would have no problem paying off the debt if there was any in fact.

"If we agree that there is in fact a debt and if Russia is unable to keep last year's gas prices, we'll pay up, we'll find the money," Lukashenko said.

On Tuesday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev threatened tough measures against Minsk if it does not pay off its arrears worth 200 million U.S. dollars in five days.

Belarus so far has refused to pay the gas price Russia asked for.


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