Belarus promises to settle debts in October

  • 1998-07-30
VILNIUS (ELTA) – Lithuanian national energy company Lietuvos Energija and Belorussian state energy concern Belenergo leaders reached the agreement that Belarus would in October cover its debts for electricity imported from Lithuania.
Lietuvos Energija Director General Anzelmas Backauskas said Belarus energy debts to Lithuania amounted to $14.4 million.
According to Belenergo President Valentin Gerasimov, state energy debts to Lithuania stand at $3.3 million, while the rest of the debt stems from mediations in electricity supply business between the two companies.
Gerasimov said that a bilateral intergovernmental agreement covering Lithuanian energy export to Belarus and a payment order was already prepared and should be signed before the end of this year.
Gerasimov stressed that the neighbouring countries should cooperate in looking for opportunities to export Lithuanian electricity to the West via Belorussian territory.
This year Belarus developed the capacity to transport to Poland electricity produced at the Ignalina nuclear plant, Gerasimov noted.
The Belenergo president confirmed that during his meeting with Lithuanian Economic Minister Vincas Babilius, the men discussed Lithuania's proposal to compensate Belorussian energy debts by fresh oil supplies from the joint Russian - Belorussian company Slavneft. The decision on the proposal, however, was not yet reached.
Belarus will also analyse the possibility to take over part of Lithuania's natural gas debts to Russia to compensate energy debts to Lithuania.
Gerasimov said that Belarus would buy from Lithuania at least 5 billion kWh or more of electricity if Lithuania could retain present supply conditions. For the past six years, Belarus has used similar kinds of payment agreemeents with Russia.
Belarus is the largest importer of Lithuanian electricity. It bought 2.991 billion kWh of the total 3.757 billion kWh of Lithuania's electricity export last year.
In the first half of this year, electricity sales to Belarus amounted to 2.774 billion kWh. According to the contract, Lithuania is to supply Belarus 5 billion kWh of electricity this year.