Belarus says it has paid Russian power debt

1st July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Belarus said on Friday it had paid its last electricity debt to Russia which had cut power supplies earlier this week.

A top aide in the Belarus energy ministry said the 611-million-ruble ($22 million) payment was made Friday by the Belenergo electricity firm.

"That means we no longer owe anything for Russian power deliveries," Belarus energy ministry assistant Lyudmila Zenkovich told AFP.

But a spokesman for Russia's Inter RAO UES power exporter said the payment had not been received by late Friday.

The Russian spokesman added that no electricity had been supplied to Belarus since it was first cut early Wednesday.

Belarus receives 12 percent of its electricity from Russia and the cut has not been felt in the capital Minsk or other major cities.

The dispute stems from a broader economic crisis that has already seen Belarus devalue its currency and turn to international assistance for help, including Moscow.

Belarus has agreed to privatise $7.5 billion in state assets in the next three years to meet the terms of a Russian-backed assistance package.

© 2011 AFP

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