Lukashenko gets on well with Medvedev, at odds with Putin

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he got on well with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev but not with the government, headed by Vladimir Putin.

"There is a paradoxical situation. The foreign ministries work on common ground, as one. The defense ministries - the most important sphere for Russia and for us - work on common ground, as one. They fall under the Russian president's supervision, by the way," Lukashenko said in an interview with the Euronews TV channel.

In the economic sphere, "anything that we agree on with the Russian president is not acknowledged by the Russian government," he said.

Lukashenko said he did not want to sow discord between Putin and Medvedev, he just stated the "fact."

Russia and Belarus have been at odds over gas supplies as Russian state-run gas monopoly Gazprom reduced supplies to Belarus last week following Minsk's denial to pay a full price for Russian gas.

Gazprom resumed full gas supplies to its former Soviet neighbor after Minks paid the debt.

Lukashenko then threatened to restrict oil and gas transit through the Belarusian territory, citing Gazprom's gas transit debt. Gazprom insists it has paid its debt of $228 million in accordance with the current contract, but Minsk, which insists the original debt was $260 million, says the debt has still not been paid off in full.

MINSK, June 27 (RIA Novosti)


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