Gazprom resumes full supplies, Belarus says receives no transit fees (Update 2)

MOSCOW, June 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's state-controlled gas monopoly Gazprom resumed on Thursday full gas supplies to Belarus, but Belarus said it had received no transit fees payment.

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said earlier on Thursday Belarus had settled gas supply debts of $200 million accrued since the start of the year.

He said Gazprom had resumed full gas deliveries to Belarus at 10:00 Moscow time [07:00 GMT].

However, Minsk demands Moscow pay $260 million for gas transits via its territory, which Miller said is a higher price and different from the current contract stipulates.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the payment of transit fees should be carried out under the rates stipulated in the contract.

Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said earlier the company had paid $228 million for gas transits.

However, Beltransgaz, Belarus's pipeline system operator, said Minsk had received no transit fees from Gazprom as of 11:30 Moscow time (GMT 07:30).

Belarusian First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko said Minsk will cut gas transits if Gazprom pays less than $260 million.

Minsk considers the $228 million that Gazprom paid as an advance payment, or 87% of the total owed to Belarus, and gave Moscow two additional hours to officially notify the Belarusian authorities of the payment, he said.

Semashko added Belarus needs up to 10 hours to resume full gas transits to the EU.

Kupriaynov said Gazprom sent documents to Minsk permitting higher gas transit fees.

Gazprom reduced gas supplies to Belarus by 15% on Monday, deepening the cuts to 30% on Tuesday and then 60% on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko said gas transit to Europe would be suspended, potentially affecting 6.25% of gas consumption by the EU.

The dispute between Russia and Belarus has erupted as Minsk has refused 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 only $150 since January 1.

Gazprom admitted it owed money for gas transits but did not specify the amount, only saying it could not make the payments to settle the debt because Minsk had failed to issue the relevant documents.


Partners: Social Network