Russia cuts electricity to Belarus

June 9, 2011 at 8:02 AM
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MOSCOW, June 9 (UPI) -- A Russian power trader cut electricity supplies to Belarus because the country's power utility hasn't paid its bills, an energy source said Thursday.

Belarusian utility company Belenergo stopped paying Russia's state-controlled trader Inter RAO UES in March. The company amassed $1.5 billion in debt and missed its Wednesday payment deadline, Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports.

"Our Belarusian colleagues had not transferred the money by the end of the working day (Wednesday)," a source at the Russian company told the news agency.

The same source said Inter RAO UES cut electricity supplies by 200 megawatts from the current rate of around 450 MW because of the missed payment.

Russian electricity makes up only 10 percent of the Belarusian energy supplies. The country made due without Russian electricity in 2010.

Belarus is in the grips of a major financial crisis that's accompanied by major declines in the value of its national currency.

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