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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ban on Energy to CIS Denied




Russia has no immediate plans to halt energy exports to the Commonwealth of Independent States, but will examine ways to collect overdue debts for energy supplies, the fuel and energy minister said on Thursday.


"My understanding of the prime minister's remark is that there is no talk about imposing a moratorium on energy exports tomorrow or the day after," Sergei Generalov told a news briefing.


Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov suggested on Thursday that Russia should suspend energy supplies to members of the Commonwealth of Independent States which do not pay their debts.


"We should think of declaring a moratorium [on energy supplies], and start talks on ways of debt repayment," Primakov told a government meeting.


"As far as the CIS countries are concerned. ... We cannot allow the debt to be accumulated ad infinitum for political reasons only," he added.


Generalov said Primakov had ordered the CIS Ministry and the Fuel and Energy Ministry to start urgent negotiations with other CIS countries on covering their debts for energy supplies and to elaborate a common scheme of debt repayment.


He said that resolving debt problems with Belarus and Kazakhstan sets a positive example but did not give details. Primakov said the total debt of CIS countries to Russia for oil and gas supplies stood at $600 million. The CIS comprises all former Soviet republics except the three Baltic states.