Lithuania says Belarus cuts gas supply further

VILNIUS June 23 (Reuters) - Belarus, in a row with Russia over debts for gas, has further cut supplies of the fuel to Lithuania and the Russian region of Kaliningrad, Lithuania's gas company said on Wednesday.

Russia's Gazprom (GAZP.MM: Quote) had said gas was flowing smoothly westwards to Europe despite an order by Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko to halt the transit of gas.

"Supplies have fallen by 40 percent by 4 p.m. (1300 GMT). If the situation remains the same and the fall continues we might need to start importing gas from Latvia around midnight (2100 GMT)," Viktoras Valentukevicius, the chief executive of gas firm Lietuvos dujos (LDJ1L.VL: Quote), told a news conference.

The company had earlier said supplies were down 30 percent.

"We have no plans to limit supplies to Lithuanian customers. If we need to do so, we will start reducing transit to Kaliningrad first," he said.

He said Lithuania can import up to 5 million cubic metres of gas per day from Latvia, which meant it would not be possible fully to replace supplies from Belarus if Belarus cut off all gas. Lithuania imports 5.7 mcm a day from Belarus, which is distributed between Lithuania and Kaliningrad. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Keiron Henderson)


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