Digital Desk, Minsk. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has threatened to cut the Yamal-Europe natural gas pipeline if European Union (EU) countries close the border with Minsk. Xinhua news agency Xinhua said what would happen to Europe if we cut off the natural gas pipeline? That’s why I would advise the Polish leadership, Lithuania and other leaderless people to think before speaking.
The Yamal-Europe pipeline, operated by the Russian oil and gas company Gazprom, runs to Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany. According to Lukashenko, the volume of gas transit from Russia to Europe has increased significantly in recent times. At Thursday’s cabinet meeting, Lukashenko also instructed relevant units to monitor the movement of Polish and other European troops. The president’s remarks come at a time when thousands of migrants and refugees are stranded at the Belarus-Poland border in cold weather.
Night temperatures at the border have dropped below freezing and some stranded people have said that they are running out of food and water. The crisis comes amid a growing international row as the European Union and NATO and the US now accuse the authoritarian leader of Belarus of instigating a new migrant crisis in Europe. Many of the migrants are young men, women and children, mostly from the Middle East and Asia.