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Belarus to fully wean itself off of electricity imports in 2018, even from Russia

Starting from 2018, Belarus intends to completely forgo electricity imports

MINSK, December 20. /TASS/. Minsk has vowed to fully discontinue imports of electricity in 2018, even from Russia, Minister of Energy of Belarus Vladimir Potupchik said on Wednesday.

"We have wrapped up negotiations with Russia on electricity imports. We refuse to make purchases at the prices offered by Russia, and we will replace it with our own output," he explained. "Starting from 2018, we will completely forgo electricity imports," he added.

At the same time, according to Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vladimir Semashko, in connection with the construction of a nuclear power plant, the republic will have the opportunity to abandon purchases of imported electricity by 2020.

Earlier, Belarus agreed with Russia on imports of 2.5 bln kW/h of contracted electricity in 2017 and reserved another 1 bln kW/h.

Belarus also bought electricity from Ukraine, but stopped importing it in 2017.