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Russia starts turning off the gas to Belarus

Russia's Gazprom has been ordered to start reducing the amount of gas it supplies to Belarus, apparently by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev himself. According to local reports the reduction will be daily and gradual, and "proportional to the volume of debt". Gazprom says Belarus owes it around $200 million in unpaid debt; Belarus claims the same amount from Gazprom for what is says is unpaid transit fees for gas exported to Europe. The battle could potentially mean trouble for both European gas supplies and for Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, who has angered Russia by cuddling up to the European Union and defying it on Kyrgyzstan. Ria Novosti



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