Belarus President Threatens to Cut Off Gas Supply to Europe
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko threatens to cut off gas to Europe if the European Union sanctions his country over the migrant crisis. Penalties are expected next week.
Russia sends gas to Poland and Germany through a pipeline through Belarus. “We are heating Europe, and they are still threatening us with closing the border. And if we cut off the gas?” Lukashenko said, according to state news agency Belta. Therefore, he would advise the leadership in Poland, Lithuania, and “other headless people to think before they speak”.
The EU is criticizing Belarus for its handling of migrants. They have not been stopped for months on their journey to the union and are said to be assisted by the Belarusian authorities. This is seen as revenge in response to EU sanctions for the violent crackdown on protests against the regime in Minsk.
Tensions have run high, in particular at the Belarus-Poland border. There is an improvised tent camp near the fence with hundreds of people from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. Belarus blames the EU for the situation that has arisen, as does its ally Russia, and denounces Poland’s threat of closing its borders.