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Belarus warns it could cut off gas to the EU

Russian pipeline exports to Europe in November via its 4 main corridors -- Nord Stream, Yamal-Europe, Ukraine and the Turkish Stream string to Europe -- totaled 10.1 Bcm

Belarus warns it could cut off gas to the EU

Minsk, December 13 - Neftegaz.RU. With relations between Belarus and the EU worsening amid the ongoing migration crisis, Minsk’s long-time leader, Alexander Lukashenko, has warned he could cut off supplies of Russian gas to the West if new sanctions are imposed, RT has reported.
Lukashenko told Turkish television channel TRT in an interview:
  • If the measures they’re imposing or will impose in the future put us in an extreme position, and we have no other measures with which to respond, we will make use of even this very harsh measure
Earlier this month, officials from the EU, US, UK, and Canada announced a new package of sanctions against Belarus.
It was the 5th round of measures since last year’s presidential election, when Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1991, officially won a 6th term with 80% of the vote.
Opposition activists in Belarus, along with Western nations, condemned the election as rigged in his favor, and tens of thousands took to the street in protest.

Lukashenko has previously threatened to shut down the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which brings Russian gas to Europe through Belarus, in response to the growing row with the West.
However, the threat has not yet been acted on, with Moscow warning it would be a major mistake if it were

Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month:
  • Nothing good will come out of it
  • It will be a violation of our transit agreement, and I hope it will not come to that
  • It will cause great damage to Europe’s energy sector, and not help in the development of our relations with Belarus as a transit country
Days later, Minsk announced that «unscheduled repairs» were needed on the ‘Friendship’ pipeline, which carries oil from Russia to the EU, with warnings that maintenance could cause disruption to supply.
However, operations have since been resumed.

Commenting on Lukashenko’s words on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said:
  • We continue to hope nothing will stand in the way of Russia continuing to flawlessly fulfill its obligations under existing contracts

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