Russia says resumes power exports to Belarus

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 02, 2011 12:18 PM
Russia says resumes power exports to Belarus

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's power group InterRAO has resumed electricity supplies to Belarus on Saturday, the company's spokesman said, ending nearly four days of power cuts over unpaid bills.

"Delivieries to Belarus have been resumed and are being carried out at full volume," InterRAO's Anton Nazarov said.

Earlier Saturday the Kremlin said President Dmitry Medvedev ordered Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, who oversees Russia's oil and natural gas sectors, to resume power supplies to the country.

The power outage forced the former Soviet country to pay overdue electricity bills of around 1.2 billion roubles ($42.48 million) for supplies in April and May.

Sechin, a staunch ally of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, said this week that cutting off power supplies had nothing to do with politics.

Analysts say Moscow is trying to boost its leverage over Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko, pushing him to sell assets which are being eyed by some of Russia's most powerful business groups.

(Reporting by Anastasia Lyrchikova; Writing by Thomas Grove; Editing by Louise Ireland)