Russia's Gazprom says Belarus gas dispute over - statement

MOSCOW (Thomson Financial) - Russian gas giant Gazprom said on Tuesday it had resolved an outstanding a gas dispute with Belarus after having threatened legal action in a row over non-payment.

The firm last month accused Minsk of failing to pay for gas deliveries and threatened to take the former Soviet republic to court. Gazprom has previously cut supplies to another former Soviet republic, Ukraine in a payment dispute.

In a statement Tuesday, Gazprom said: 'Thanks to the signing of an addendum to the contract in July this year, all questions relating to the delivery of Russian gas to Belarus and its transit have been resolved.'

The announcement followed a meeting in Moscow between Valery Golubev, from Gazprom's board, and the director general of the Ukrainian Beltransgaz group, Vladimir Mayorov.

The agreement also settled outstanding payments for gas delivered and used by Belarus in the first half of this year and other financial matters, the statement added.

Beltransgaz is half-owned by Gazprom.

Gazprom accused Belarus in mid-July 'not fulfilling its obligation to fully meet the payment of Russian gas' and threatened to take legal action if Minsk continued to ignore its commitments.

Belarus and Gazprom had agreed to an increase in the price of Russian gas from the second quarter of 2008, which was to go from $119 (77 euros) per 1,000 cubic meters (1,300 cubic yards) to $128.

Russia provides a quarter of all the gas used in Europe, of which 20 percent is routed through Belarus pipelines.

Russia twice cut off gas supplies to Ukraine, in 2006 and again in 2008.



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