Russia has found the lever of pressure in the gas war with Belarus

Russia plans to cut oil supplies to Belarus up to 4 million tons in the first quarter of 2017, after the parties had failed before the end of 2016 to reach agreement in resolving the gas dispute. This writes the Russian “Kommersant”.

Initially the graph is meant to export 4.5 million tonnes of oil per quarter, but now Moscow has cut supplies of black gold to encourage Minsk to repay more than $ 400 million debt for gas.

While in Minsk, I hope that disputed issues will be solved before the end of the first quarter.

We will remind, Moscow and Minsk have been unable until the end of 2016 to reach agreement on repayment of Belarus’s debt for Russian gas.

The debt accumulated from January of last year when Belarus, demanding the reduction of the cost of raw materials, began to pay less unilaterally, and by the end of November the debt, according to the Russian side amounted to about 425 million dollars.

Meanwhile, Moscow has linked the gas issue with the supply of oil, reducing their promised 5, 3 million tonnes in the first quarter to 3.5 million tons, and in October-December up to 3 million tons.