Gazprom pledges full gas supplies to Europe regardless of Belarus cutoff (Update)

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Despite Belarus's decision to block gas transit through its territory, Russian state-run gas giant Gazprom will completely satisfy European and Kaliningrad customers' gas demands, an official Gazprom representative said on Tuesday.

Despite Belarus's decision to block gas transit through its territory, Russian state-run gas giant Gazprom will completely satisfy European and Kaliningrad customers' gas demands, an official Gazprom representative said on Tuesday.

"We have already received confirmation for Ukraine's [gas transport] system readiness from Kiev. We plan to use gas from underground storage facilities and possibly spot markets. Kaliningrad customers will be provided with gas via Lithuania. All the customers will receive their full gas volume," Sergei Kupriyanov told Rossia 24 TV channel.

Belarus refuses to pay the Russian gas price, set at $169 per 1,000 cubic meters for the first quarter of the year and $185 for the second quarter, and has been paying $150 since January 1 instead.

"[Our] Belarusian colleagues are well aware what sanctions are imposed under the contract if debt accumulates," he said, emphasizing that the measures taken are in strict accordance with the contract concluded between Gazprom and Belarus's Beltransgaz.

Gazprom decreased its gas supplies to Belarus by 15% on Monday over the $200 million debt Minsk has accumulated since the start of the year. Supplies were further cut by 30% on Tuesday. The Russian gas giant may introduce further cuts on Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday, Belarusian First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko officially announced the beginning of gas siphoning in the country.

"All this is without any basis! This is not just our gas! This is our pipe [pipeline] owned by Gazprom with property rights," Kupriayanov said.

"It should be noted immediately that there are no problems. We are sure that our European clients will receive all needed gas volumes on our contracts, regardless of the actions of Minsk. And we want to tell [our] Belarusian colleagues: Your decision to block [gas] transport is not the way not to pay [your] debts," he said.

MOSCOW, June 22 (RIA Novosti)

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