Alexander Lukashenka threatened to retaliate on Thursday for any new sanctions imposed by the European Union, reports Reuters. The President of Belarus mentioned, among other things, the possibility of blocking the transit of natural gas via Belarus to Europe.
– We are heating Europe, they are still threatening us to close the border. What if we cut off natural gas there? That is why I advise Polish leaders, Lithuanians and other thoughtless people to think before they say anything – said Lukashenka, quoted by the state news agency Belta.
The Reuters Agency points out that the European gas market, where prices have reached record levels in recent weeks, would be very sensitive to any interruptions in the flow of Russian gas through Belarus.
The Yamal-Europe gas pipeline runs through the territory of this country, which pumps gas from Russia to Poland and Germany.
Sanctions of the European Union
The situation on the Polish-Belarusian border was the subject of Wednesday’s talks in Warsaw between Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Charles Michel, the head of the European Council.
At the press conference after the meeting, politicians were asked, inter alia, o the possibility of the complete closure of the border and the form of planned sanctions against Belarus. – First of all, we are thinking about closing those border crossings that are under attack, replied the Prime Minister, giving the Kuźnica-Bruzgi border crossing point as an example.
– If Lukashenka does not reduce his pressure and does not move away from this political blackmail, from the use of human shields (…), we will have to close subsequent border crossings, which will automatically lead to the implementation of a certain economic sanction per se, because the possibility of conducting business activity for companies from Białousia with companies from Poland – he added.
Charles Michel stressed that sanctions against Belarus are already “on the table”. – We want to coordinate it with the Member States to make the best choices, to identify the best tools – he said. He stressed that hybrid attacks should be stopped not only against Poland, but also against the entire EU. – We have to do this and we will use different tools for this. That is why we are talking not only about Belarus, but about people who participate in this system. We have to explain to them what the specific consequences of their behavior will be – he pointed out.
Crisis on the border with Belarus
South of Kuźnica, on the Belarusian side of the border with Poland, there has been a large group of migrants since Monday. After an unsuccessful attempt to enter Poland by force, the migrants set up a camp, which is guarded by the Belarusian services. According to the information provided by the head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration, Mariusz Kamiński, there are currently approx. 2-4 thousand people in the border strip. In his opinion, in the near future they will aim at “another attack” on our border.
Government representatives emphasize that Poland is currently facing the most difficult situation since the beginning of the migration crisis. “This is the first such situation in 30 years when we can say that (…) the integrity of our borders is so brutally attacked and tested,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday.
Due to the situation on the border, Poland wants to extend sanctions against Belarus. The announcements made so far show that we are talking both about expanding the list of people from this country with no entry to the EU, as well as economic sanctions.
Main photo source: president.gov.by