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19

Gazprom To Shutt Off Gas Supply to Belarus

Russia's state gas monopoly threatened neighboring Belarus on Monday

Russia's state gas monopoly threatened neighboring Belarus on Monday to shut off gas supply from Jan. 1, as belarus is rfusing to pay for it.

Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said Belarus was insisting on maintaining subsidized prices next year, comparable to domestic tariffs inside Russia, while Gazprom has demanded that Belarus pay $200 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas -- four times the current price.

Kupriyanov said later Monday that Gazprom would agree to $80 per 1,000 cubic meters if Belarus handed over 50 percent of its state-controlled gas transport network.

Kupriyanov said Belarus was alone among a group of former Soviet republics in seeking to keep subsidized gas rates, which runs counter to Gazprom's policy of switching all its energy sales to a market basis.