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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Belarus Pays Back More Debt

MINSK -- Belarus paid back two-thirds of the $456 million it owes to Gazprom, Belarussian state television said Monday.

"Belarus paid back two-thirds of the debt, it is approximately $300 million," the state television channel said in a news bulletin but did not specify where the information came from.

Belarus avoided an immediate cut in its gas supplies last week by repaying part of its debt to Moscow, but Russia warned Minsk to pay in full within one week or see its flow of the fuel reduced by 30 percent.

"Belarus will pay up the debt in full by Aug. 10. At the moment financial transactions are taking place," Beltransgaz spokesman Vladimir Chekov told RIA-Novosti news agency.

Analysts have said Belarus can just about pay the full price after having its gas supplies subsidized by Moscow for years, but they also note that it is running external deficits that need to be financed either with borrowing or inward investment.

Gazprom doubled gas prices for Belarus to $100 per 1,000 cubic meters from January, but allowed the country to pay only half the price in the first six months. It charges its European clients over $250 per 1,000 cubic meters.