Ukraine 'neutral' on Russia-Belarus gas conflict - Foreign Ministry

Ukraine has taken a neutral position in the Russia-Belarus gas conflict, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

"On a political level, Ukraine is completely neutral on this issue. We have absolutely no plans to interfere in this economic conflict," Oleh Voloshyn said.

However, earlier on Tuesday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said Ukraine is ready to provide extra gas transit through its territory if the conflict causes a drop in Russian gas supplies to the EU.

"We're talking about 15-20 billion cubic meters of gas," he said.

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 January 1 instead.

The Russian gas giant Gazprom decreased its Belarus supplies 15% on Monday over a $200 million debt Minsk has accumulated since the start of the year and further cut its supplies by 30% on Tuesday.

KIEV, June 22 (RIA Novosti)


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