Lukashenko demands that Russia be billed $500 million

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has demanded that the country's government send Russia a bill for $500 million. According to him, this figure is made up of losses incurred by Belarus as a result of the failure to regulate relations on the levying of direct taxation. The president made this demand during a meeting with the government on Wednesday in connection with a Russian move to cut its gas supplies to Belarus by 50%.

Lukashenko demanded that Moscow pay world prices for customs, border and security services presented to Russia by Belarus.

According to the Belarussian leader, Minsk also has the right to bill Gazprom for those privileges which the Belarussian side granted for the construction of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline. Lukashenko said that the sum came to $175 million.

"If Russia does not want to fulfil its obligations, then we must ask Russia to pay for gas transit at world prices," Alexander Lukashenko said. According to his information, Russia pays Belarus four to five times less than it pays Ukraine for pumping gas across its territory.

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