The European Union (EU) said on Monday it would not be affected by a dispute on gas payment between Russia and Belarus.
"We expect that the gas transit flows to the European Union from Russia, from Belarus, will not be affected by the dispute," EU energy spokeswoman Marlene Holzner told reporters in Brussels, adding only a small amount of the gas delivered through Europe comes through the Belarus system.
However, Holzner indicated Lithuania, a EU country which is " 100 percent" dependent on Russian gas transiting Belarus, would be seriously affected if the dispute were to result in less Russian supplies to Europe through Belarus, while Poland and Germany would be indirectly affected.
Russian gas company Gazprom started earlier Monday to cut its gas supplies to Belarus after Minsk refused to pay Russia some 200 million U.S. dollars in debt over gas supplies.
Russia has informed the European Commission of the dispute on Monday morning under a so-called "early warning system", which was set up by Moscow and Brussels due to repeated disruptions of gas supplies to EU countries in Russia's row with transit countries.