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ROUNDUP / Belarus: Lukashenko threatens a sharp response to new sanctions

Thursday, 11/11/2021 5:01 PM by

dpa-AFX

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Belarus flag pixabay.com

MINSK / KUZNICA / BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – In the conflict with the EU over migrants in Belarus, ruler Alexander Lukashenko has threatened with a sharp response in the event of new sanctions. “What if we turn off the gas there?” He said on Thursday in Minsk in a meeting with high-ranking officials, including the military. The conflict over thousands of migrants in Belarus on the border with Poland who want to apply for asylum in the EU has been coming to a head for days. In view of the escalation, the European Union is discussing applying new sanctions to Belarus.

“We are heating up Europe and they are threatening us to close the border,” Lukashenko responded to Poland’s considerations to completely close the border with Belarus if the leadership in Minsk does not cease its activities. Part of the important Russian-European pipeline Yamal-Europe runs through Belarus. However, only a small part of the gas is transported from Russia to Europe via the pipeline. The main volumes flow through Ukraine and the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline.

In view of the tense situation around the migrants, Russia stated that it wanted to help solve the problem after all, as Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said, according to the Interfax agency. Chancellor Angela Merkel had previously asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for help. He has a direct line to Lukashenko. Russia itself is now threatened with sanctions because of the situation in Belarus.

On Thursday, the situation on the EU’s eastern external border will also concern the UN Security Council. France, Estonia and Ireland requested the meeting of the most powerful UN body for the afternoon (local time) in New York, as the German press agency learned from security council circles. The council is supposed to meet behind closed doors. Lithuania wanted to work there to create a humanitarian corridor for migrants willing to return.

Meanwhile, the Polish government is preparing for increased operations on its border with Belarus, as the Deputy Interior Minister Bartosz Grodecki said. After securing a big march for Independence Day in Poland, more security forces were to be relocated from Warsaw to the border in the evening ./nat/DP/zb

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