Medvedev orders to restore Belarus power supplies: reports

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered power supplies to Belarus to be restored after receiving a late payment from Russia's cash-strapped neighbour, his spokeswoman told Russian news agencies Saturday.

"Since Minsk has fulfilled its financial obligations, the president gave the order to restore electricity supplies to the Belarussian side according to the existing agreements," his spokeswoman Natalya Timakova was cited as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency.

"Due to the complete resolution of technical and financial questions from the Belarussian side, the supplies of electricity will be restored today," spokesman for Russian power company Inter RAO UES Anton Nazarov told AFP.

Russia cut power supplies to Belarus on Wednesday after the expiry of a second late payment deadline, but Minsk on Friday said that it had settled its debt of $21 million.

Belarus receives 12 percent of its electricity from Russia and the cut was not been perceptible 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 ask for international help, including from 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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