Kremlin distances itself from Belarusian threat to halt gas transit
Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko did not consult with Russia before suggesting that Belarus could cut off Russian gas transit to Europe, the Kremlin said on November 12, according to Russian state media.
Lukashenko suggested he might halt transit if the EU imposed sanctions on Belarus for encouraging migrants from the Middle East and Africa to try and cross into neighbouring Poland, creating a border crisis. But analysts view the threat as hollow, as the Yamal-Europe pipeline that runs through Belarus is 100% owned by Russia's Gazprom, and Belarus would lose transit revenues and incur Moscow's wrath if it forced the pipeline's closure.
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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the threat by Lukashenko had not been coordinated with Moscow. This was a statement by the Belarusian leader, he said, and Russia has always fulfilled its contractual supply obligations, describing the country as a guarantor of European energy security.