Belarus is ready to settle its outstanding debt to Russia for electricity supplies, Belarusian Economics Minister Nikolai Snopkov said on Wednesday after Russia cut off the power supply at midnight.
Belarus has an outstanding debt of 600 million rubles ($21.16 million).
“Any respectable person and any respectable state pays its debts, so we of course will pay ours,” Snopkov said, but did not specify when the debt would be settled.
Inter RAO, Russia's electricity export company, says it expects payment from Belarus "in the next few days."
The question of further imports of electricity from Russia would be decided “depending on the price of electricity imports and the price of domestically produced power,” he added.
Belarus imports around 12 percent of its electric power from Russia.
Belarus has been in the grip of a financial crisis since the spring, caused by excessive inflation resulting from government spending on public sector wages ahead of the December 2010 presidential elections.