Russia will cut off electricity supplies to Belarus on Wednesday until Belarus repays its 1.2-billion ruble ($43 million) debt, a spokesman for Russia's electricity export monopoly Inter RAO said on Tuesday.
Russia prolonged until Tuesday morning the deadline for Belarus to pay off its electricity debt for April and May, threatening to cut off supplies if it does not, but no payment has been made.
"As of 8:30 a.m. Moscow time (04:30 GMT) no payment for electricity was made...from June 29, at 00:00 Moscow time (June 28, 20:00 GMT) we will completely cut electricity supplies to Belarus. We are waiting for Belarus to fully repay its debt and make the next payment," the spokesman said.
The Belarusian electricity debt occurred because of the currency crisis which is hampering all transactions with foreign partners. Belarus says it has enough domestic currency. The problem is converting it into hard-to-find international currency.