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Russian gas giant Gazprom has failed to resolve a price dispute with Belarus and now looks set to cut supplies. But, it says it has enough spare gas to make sure the rest of Europe is not affected.
Russia says it will cut 85 percent of gas supplies to Belarus from Monday, if its ex-Soviet neighbor fails to pay the 192 million US dollars Minsk owes to Gazprom.
Belarus disputes this year's price increases and says it owes nothing. The two parties met on Saturday, but their last-minute attempt to reach a deal failed.
A cut in supply to Belarus would not affect Europe like the 2009 standoff with Ukraine. That's because only about a fifth of Russia's gas exports to Western Europe go through Belarus, the rest go through the Ukraine.
- Putin sets duty-free gas for Ukraine 2010-05-01