Belarus to pay off Russian electricity debt: ministry

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Belarus said Friday that it has reached an agreement with Russia on repaying its $54 million electricity debt and expects supplies to be fully restored by June 13th.

On Thursday a source in Russia's electricity monopoly InterRao said supplies to Belarus have been sharply reduced to 200 megawatts because the country owes 1.5 billion rubles in electricity debts, threatening to cut it altogether.

Belarussian energy ministry spokeswoman Lyudmila Zenkovich said on Friday that a repayment schedule was agreed for the debt, which "will be paid back in full before July 5."

Supplies of Russian electricity will be fully restored starting on June 13, she said in a televised statement.

Belarus has already been promised $3 billion from a Russia-led economic group to battle its economic crisis but is also seeking a loan of up to $8 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

© 2011 AFP

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