Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko threatened Thursday to chop off a serious pipeline transporting Russian gasoline by Belarus to the European Union if the EU imposes new sanctions, escalating what the EU calls Belarus’ “hybrid assault” on the 27-member bloc. Earlier this week, hundreds of migrants from the Center East moved through Belarus to the EU’s Polish border, and now they’re caught in frigid climate between Polish border guards who will not allow them to in and Belarusian guards who will not allow them to return.
“We’re heating Europe,” Lukashenko mentioned Thursday. “They nonetheless threaten us that they may shut the border. And if we shut off pure gasoline there?” The overseas minister, he added, “should warn everybody in Europe: In the event that they impose extra sanctions on us, that will be indigestible and unacceptable for us. We should reply.” Russia provides about 35 % of Europe’s pure gasoline, delivered by a number of pipelines, BBC News reports. The Yamal-Europe pipeline travels by Belarus to Poland and Germany.
Analysts had been divided on whether or not Lukashenko was bluffing. And it is really “Russian President Vladimir Putin who would resolve whether or not Lukashenko may comply with by with threats to show off the Belarus pipeline, which provides about 20 % of Europe’s Russian gasoline,” The Washington Post reports. Putin ramped up the provision of gasoline to the EU earlier this week, easing a scarcity that has sharply pushed up power costs in Europe, however “thus far, Russia has insisted it has no half in Lukashenko’s rising feud even because it declines to rein him in.”
The EU mentioned it’ll introduce new sanctions on Belarus as early as Monday and will not be intimidated by his gasoline provide threats. The Western member states of the United Nations Safety Council strongly condemned Belarus on Thursday for endangering the lives of migrants from Iraq, Syria, and Yemen “for political functions” and ramping up tensions to divert “consideration away from its personal growing human rights violations.” Russia defended Belarus.
The U.S. and EU have layered sanctions on Belarus since Lukashenko declared himself winner of a set election final 12 months, and Lukashenko has been escalating his pushback because the spring.
https://theweek.com/russia/1007057/belarus-threatens-to-cut-off-europes-russian-gas-escalating-hybrid-assault-on-eu | Belarus threatens to chop off Europe’s Russian gasoline, escalating ‘hybrid’ assault on EU