Alexander Lukashenka threatened, Thursday, to respond to any new sanctions imposed by the European Union, according to Reuters. The President of Belarus mentioned, among other things, the possibility of preventing the transit of natural gas through Belarus to Europe. In response to these threats, gas prices in Europe are on the rise.
– They scare us a lot with this fifth package (sanctions – editor). (…) Poland scares us that it will close the borders. Please close, fewer refugees (opponents – editor) will move there – said Lukashenka.
– And if we close the gas transit through Belarus? You will not pass through Ukraine: the Russian border is closed there. There are no roads through the Baltic states. If we get close to the Poles and the Germans, what will happen next? – said the Belarusian politician.
Lukashenka: What if we cut off the gas?
Lukashenka also noted that the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline passes through the territory of Belarus, where the amount of gas transported from Russia has recently decreased.
– We are heating Europe, and they still threaten us to close the borders. What if we cut off the gas? That is why I advise the Polish leadership, Lithuanians and other lunatics to think first before saying something – added Lukashenka.
– The State Department should warn everyone in Europe: as soon as additional unacceptable sanctions are imposed on us, we must respond – he stressed.
The Yamal-Europe gas pipeline belongs to Russia’s Gazprom, as well as the Belarusian gas pipeline system (which distributes gas throughout the country), which Russia purchased from the Belarusian authorities in 2007-2011 for $ 5 billion. – Remember the agency Interfax.by. Currently, the Belarusian gas transmission system and the Belarusian section of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline are controlled by Gazprom Transgaz Belarus, a Gazprom-owned company.
Reuters notes that the European gas market, where prices have reached record levels in recent weeks, will be very sensitive to any interruption in the flow of Russian gas through Belarus.
Brokers have reported that gas prices in Europe are rising in response to threats from the President of Belarus. Dutch gas contracts rose 2.1 percent. Up to €71.36 per MWh.
European Commission response
The European Commission believes that the possible interruption of gas flows through Belarus to the European Union will be a new tool of a hybrid attack. – We see threats and will not allow ourselves to be afraid, a spokeswoman for the European Commission said on Thursday, when asked about threats from Alexander Lukashenka regarding gas supplies to the European Union. Gas is an essential resource and should not be used in geopolitical disputes. Dana Spinant said people should not be used in geopolitical controversies. She noted that the possible interruption of gas flows to the European Union through Minsk would be a new tool for a mixed attack launched by Belarus. – Noting that we are witnessing threats and will not allow them to be intimidated.
The situation on the Polish-Belarus border was the subject of talks on Wednesday in Warsaw between Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and European Council President Charles Michel.
At the press conference that followed the meeting, the politicians were asked, among other things, o the possibility of a complete closure of the borders and the form of the planned sanctions against Belarus. – First of all, we are considering closing those border crossings that are under attack, replied the Prime Minister, referring to the Kuźnica-Bruzgi border crossing as an example.
– If Lukashenka does not relieve his pressure and does not turn away from this political blackmail, from the use of human shields (…), then we will have to close the subsequent border crossings, which will automatically lead to the implementation of a certain economic order punishment in itself, because the possibility of conducting business activity For companies from Biaousia with companies from Poland – added.
Charles Michel stressed that sanctions against Belarus are already “on the table”. – We want to coordinate it with Member States to make the best choices and identify the best tools – he said. He stressed that the mixed attacks must be stopped not only against Poland, but also against the entire European Union. – We have to do that and we’ll use different tools for that. That is why we are talking not only about Belarus, but about the people who participate in this system. He noted that we have to explain to them what the specific consequences of their behavior are.
Crisis on the border with Belarus
South of Konica, on the Belarusian side of the border with Poland, there has been a large group of migrants since Monday. After an unsuccessful attempt to enter Poland by force, the emigrants set up a camp guarded by the Belarusian services. According to the information provided by the head of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration, Marius Kaminsky, currently there are approximately 2-4 thousand people in the border strip. In his opinion, in the near future they will target “another attack” on our borders.
Government representatives assert that Poland is currently facing the most difficult situation since the beginning of the migration crisis. “This is the first such situation in 30 years when we can say (…) that the integrity of our borders is under severe attack and test,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday.
Because of the situation at the border, Poland wants to extend sanctions against Belarus. The announcements made so far show that we are talking about expanding the list of people from this country who do not enter the European Union, as well as economic sanctions.
Main image source: President.gov.by
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