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Russia: Belarus didn’t coordinate with Moscow threat to halt gas to Europe

The threat of Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko to cut off transit gas supply from Russia to Europe has not been coordinated with Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday

Russia: Belarus didn’t coordinate with Moscow threat to halt gas to Europe

Moscow, November 15 - Neftegaz.RU. Belarus threatened on Thursday to halt natural gas supply at a key pipeline from Russia to Germany passing through Belarus, if the European Union imposes additional sanctions to the country in response to the migrant crisis at the Belarus-Poland border, reported.
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?
The Belarusian statement has not been coordinated with Moscow in any way, Peskov told reporters on Friday, as carried by Russian news agency TASS:
  • 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
With the threat from Belarus’s leader, the specter of another hurdle to Russian supplies to Europe is being raised days after Gazprom largely relieved the European gas market by saying that it had approved and started implementing a plan to send natural gas into 5 storage sites in Europe.

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.

Author: Charles Kennedy

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