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Talks begin in gas dispute with Belarus

December 30, 2006|From Times Wire Reports

Belarus President Alexander G. Lukashenko said he would not tolerate Russian blackmail, as talks started in Moscow on a natural gas dispute.

The European Commission and Germany have urged Russia and Belarus to settle their differences quickly. A similar dispute between Russia and Ukraine in January disrupted supplies to European consumers.

Russian state-owned oil company Gazprom is seeking a share of Belarus' pipelines and higher gas prices. It has threatened to cut supplies to Belarus, which has implied that it could intercept European supplies that cross its territory.

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