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Learning English - Words in the News
 
03 August, 2007 - Published 10:30 GMT
 
Russia's Gazprom postpones threat to Belarus
 
Gazprom logo in front of Russia's Government building in Moscow

The Russian gas company Gazprom has delayed by a week plans to reduce supplies to Belarus. The announcement follows overnight talks in Moscow to reach agreement on a dispute over payment. This report from James Rodgers:

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The deal has protected Belarus's gas supplies for now. The clock is already ticking towards the next deadline, set for Friday August the 10th. Belarus has paid 190-million dollars out of the 456-million dollars it owed Gazprom.

Ties between Russia and Belarus were first strained at the end of last year when they negotiated a new price for gas. Some twenty percent of Russian gas exports to Europe are delivered through Belarus. Gazprom's customers in Western Europe were worried that the disputes could lead to problems with their supplies.

James Rodgers, BBC News, Moscow

Listen to the words

deal
agreement

protected
prevented from being stopped/reduced

The clock is already ticking
it will soon be time for

deadline
a time limit for something; when something must be completed

owed
had borrowed and had to pay back

Ties
relations

strained
became tense

negotiated
if someone negotiates with someone else, they talk about a problem or situation on which they have different views (here, about the price of gas) in order to find a solution

delivered
supplied, routed

disputes
disagreements, quarrels

 
 
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