Lukashenko said on Thursday, as quoted by Belarusian state news agency Belta:
- We provide heat to Europe, and they are threatening us with the border closure
- What if we block natural gas transit?
- Belarus is an ally of Russia, but it is also a sovereign state
Russia remains a reliable energy supplier to Europe, regardless of the actions of Belarus
- Russia’s reliability as a supplier and partner in the current and future contracts cannot be called into question
Despite the calmer gas markets in the past few days, uncertainty over Russia’s intentions, and now the Belarus-EU spat could make Europe's gas prices extremely volatile again.
Early on Friday, gas prices at the key hubs in the UK and the Netherlands rose as flows of Russian gas on the Yamal-Europe pipeline via Belarus and Poland remained low for a second consecutive day and half the volume from Wednesday.
Forecasts of cooler weather also drove prices higher as colder temperatures signal higher gas demand.