21 Jun 2010 21:37

Minsk to repay gas debt before July 5

MINSK. June 21 (Interfax) - Belarus will have repaid its gas debt to Russia before July 5, Belarus' First Deputy Energy Minister Eduard Tovpenets has said.

"A letter, signed by First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko has been sent today to Gazprom head Miller, where Gazprom is asked to repay its debt for transit services. Beltransgaz in turn will have paid fully for the gas, shipped in May before June 23. The debt amounting to $187 million will have been repaid before July 5," Tovpenets told journalists in Minsk on Monday.

Belarus expects Gazprom's debt for transit to be repaid first, he said.

Tovpenets also denied reports that there were no contracts documenting the receipt of transit gas. "How can one claim this and mislead the Russian leaders?" he said

He showed "documents, with a monthly breakdown, on the amount of transit services extended to Gazprom."

The contracts were signed on the Belarusian side by Beltransgaz Deputy General Director Dmitry Anyuk and by Gazprom's representative in Belarus. But the third mandatory signature - the signature of Gazprom - is absent," he said.

"The contracts were referred to Gazprom for signing, but Gazprom did not sign a single contract," Tovpenets said.