Moscow, Minsk gas row over?

MOSCOW, June 25 (UPI) -- Russian gas company Gazprom resumed full gas supplies to Belarus after both sides settled their debt issues, a company spokesman announced.

Sergei Kupriyanov, a spokesman for Gazprom, said the company paid its gas transit fees to Minsk after it received a similar payment for gas debts from the government in Belarus.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Moscow "repeatedly warned" Minsk about the severity of the issue but received little in response, Russian news agency ITAR-Tass reports.

For his part, Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, said the brief energy row was overblown.

"It was a totally meaningless quarrel," the news agency quoted the president as saying.

Kupriyanov was quoted as saying "all volumes of gas" have resumed for Belarus.

"As for what happens at the point of exit from the territory of Belarus, some time will be needed for a clear assessment of the situation," he said.

Both sides, however, have yet to settle differences over the fee of Russian gas transits through Belarus. Gazprom sends about 20 percent of its gas for Europe through Belarus.

Gazprom had cut gas supplies by as much as 60 percent.


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