Putin: Interruption of Russian gas flow to Europe endangers Moscow-Minsk relationship

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that Belarus had not consulted with him before raising the possibility of halting the flow of Russian gas to Europe, adding that such a move runs the risk of worsening bilateral relations between Minsk and of Moscow.

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko on Thursday threatened to retaliate against any new EU sanctions against Belarus over the migration crisis along its border with the EU, saying it could cut off gas and other goods flowing through the country. Belarus.

His warning prompted a rise in gas prices in Europe, which receives about a third of the reported fuel flow from Russia, including the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which runs through Belarus to Poland and Germany.

The section of the pipeline passing through Belarus is owned by Gazprom’s Russian energy monopoly.

“I spoke to Lukashenko twice recently and he did not say this to me, nor did he imply it,” Putin said in an interview with state television in his first public statement on the Belarussian threat.

“Of course, in theory, Lukashenko, as the president of a transit country, could order a halt to the flow of our gas to Europe. But that would be a violation of the gas agreement between us, and I hope that will not happen. Putin added.

Putin: Western countries responsible for immigration crisis on border with Poland

The Russian president said today that Western countries, despite Belarus, are effectively responsible for the migration crisis on Belarus’ border with Poland, citing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Russia is a key ally of Belarus, which the European Union accuses of provoking a “hybrid attack” on flights carrying thousands of migrants, mostly from the Middle East, and illegally pushing them into Poland.

As the EU prepares to impose new sanctions on Minsk, Putin told Russian state television that in his view Belarus was not responsible.

“Let us not forget where these migrant crises came from. Is Belarus the root cause of these problems? No, the causes were caused by Western and European countries themselves,” Putin said.

Putin: NATO exercises in the Black Sea are a serious challenge

With information from ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ

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Source From: Capital

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