Alyaksandr Lukashenka warned on Friday that Belarus would shut down pipelines carrying Russian oil and gas to customers westward if Moscow failed to settle its debt for gas transit within 24 hours.
"I warn the government yet one more time: Gazprom's failure to pay for services in full within the next 24 hours should lead to the suspension of all services to the Russian Federation regarding the transportation of hydrocarbon material," Mr. Lukashenka said at a government conference.
The warning came hours after Russian Ambassador Aleksandr Surikov said that the gas dispute between the two countries was over.
Earlier this week Gazprom paid $228 million for the transit flow of gas through Belarus in the last two months of 2009 and the first five months of this year. However, Minsk insists that Gazprom owed $260 million in unpaid gas transit bills and should pay $32 million more.