Russia deepens gas supply cuts to Belarus | world | Hindustan Times
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Russia deepens gas supply cuts to Belarus

world Updated: Jun 22, 2010 14:26 IST

Russia is deepening cuts in natural gas supplies to ex-Soviet neighbor Belarus over what it claims is a debt of nearly $200 million.

Alexei Miller, chief of Russia's state-controlled Gazprom gas giant, says the company has cut supplies by 30 percent starting Tuesday.

Gazprom initially reduced supplies by 15 percent on Monday and warned it would eventually cut the deliveries by 85 percent if Belarus refuses to pay its debt.

Belarus' Energy Ministry in a letter to the European Commission on Monday warned that cuts of more than 15 percent could lead to transit shortages.

Gazprom has promised that European customers won't be affected by the shut-off as Gazprom can channel gas supplies normally going via Belarus through another transit pipeline crossing Ukraine.