Russia's Gazprom increases gas supplies cuts to Belarus to 30 pct from 15 pct - Miller

Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom cut its supplies to Belarus further, to 30 percent from a previous 15 percent over debts, Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller said on Tuesday.

"Over the past twenty-four hours, Belarus has not taken any steps to repay the debts for the delivery of Russian natural gas and from 10 hours in the morning of June 22 a 30 percent cut in planned gas supplies to Belarus was introduced," Miller said.

The Russian giant decreased its Belarus supplies 15 percent on Monday over a $200 million debt Minsk has accumulated since the start of the year.

Belarus refuses to pay the Russian gas price, set at $169 per 1,000 cubic meters for the first quarter of the year and $185 for the second quarter, and has been paying $150 since Jan. 1 instead.

The current dispute with Belarus also echoes a disagreement over oil imports at the start of the year, when Russia and Belarus entered a joint customs union with Kazakhstan and Minsk argued it should be exempt from duties on all oil imports.

Belarus eventually accepted Russia's offer of duty-free imports of oil for domestic use - about a fifth of its total imports - but won the right to increase transit fees on crude pumped across Belarus to Europe.

MOSCOW, June 22 (RIA Novosti)


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