RUSSIA RESUMES GAS SHIPMENTS TO BELARUS.

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1RUSSIA RESUMES GAS SHIPMENTS TO BELARUS .
2Russian natural gas started flowing back through pipelines into Europe at normal levels on Thursday , as Belarus and Russia announced a tentative truce in their four-day energy dispute .
3The spat erupted Monday when Russia began cutting flows of natural gas into Belarus in an effort to recover nearly $ 200 million in debt for unpaid energy deliveries .
4It escalated when Belarus restricted the transit of Russian gas into Europe .
5On Thursday , Russia 's government owned gas company , Gazprom , resumed the flow of natural gas in full to Belarus after the country settled its debt , Aleksei B. Miller , Gazprom 's chief executive , said .
6`` But the issue is not yet fully solved , '' Miller said .
7Belarus , he said , sent a letter demanding Russia pay transit fees for natural gas pumped through pipelines on its territory .
8`` If the demand outlined in the letter is not met , the Belarusian side has threatened to cut off transits through the territory of Belarus , '' he said .
9Belarus has maintained since the beginning of the standoff that Russia owned $ 260 million in unpaid transit fees .
10Gazprom confirmed that it paid $ 228 million on Thursday , but this did not appear to satisfy Belarusian officials .
11Gas was nevertheless transported normally through Belarus into Europe on Thursday , a day after Lithuania registered a 40 percent cut in energy flows into the country .
12Lithuania is the only European Union member that receives 100 percent of its gas through Belarusian pipelines , though Germany and Poland partially rely on such supplies .
13`` We expect now that the flows can be restored to European customers and that they should not be affected by the disputes or disagreements concerning the transit fees , '' Marlene Holzner , a spokeswoman for the European Commission , said at a news conference .
14The spat between Belarus and Russia is not the first to leave Europe at risk of energy deficits , and has again raised questions about Russia 's ability to reliably deliver gas to its customers in the European Union just as Moscow has been seeking to boost its image as a dependable business partner in the West .
15Russia has been embroiled in several similar disputes with Belarus and another neighbor , Ukraine , typically in winter months when the effects of gas shutoffs are graver .