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Russia insists Belarus settles overdue payments for supplied gas

January 28, 2017, 14:36 updated at: January 28, 2017, 15:47 UTC+3

"We continue talks; no progress there, arguments remain unchanged," Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said

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© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, January 28. /TASS/. Russia insists Belarus settles fully the debt for gas supplied last year; as yet there is no progress in talks on the matter, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said on Saturday.

"We continue talks; no progress there, arguments remain unchanged," he said. "Settlement options are changing, but as yet we have not found mutually acceptable ones."

"Anyway, we insist on full settlement of the last year's payment under the formula we had earlier," he told reporters.

Belarus owes $550 million to Russia for supplied gas, Dvorkovich said.

"Our opinion, our estimation is - about 550 million dollars," he said.

During 2016, Belarus held negotiations with Russia to reduce gas prices. In July, Russia cut down gas deliveries to Belarus by over a third, as a reaction to what the Russian side is calling a significant underpayment in the amount of $281 mln.

In early December 2016, Belarus made an advance payment for gas and expects the volume of gas deliveries to the country to be restored. However, at that time Dvorkovich said Russia had returned the advance payment and insists on full observing of the gas contract. The deputy prime minister did not rule out then settlement of the gas issue with Belarus may be also judicially, as the case had been filed to the court.

Belarus’s Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko said earlier the republic hoped a compromise in the oil and gas issue with Russia would be possible within this year’s first quarter.

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