The European Union will not let Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko intimidate the EU with threats to cut off gas supplies, European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni said responding to Lukashenko's recent most recent unfriendly remarks, TASS reports.
"In matters of gas supplies, we must make the most of our relations with the supplying countries — African states, Norway, Russia,” Gentiloni stressed.
On November 11, Lukashenko said that the Yamal-Europe pipeline runs through the territory of Belarus. This system serves to supply natural gas from Russia to EU countries. Lukashenko found it unfair for Belarus to supply fuel to the countries of the bloc, while Poland wants to close the borders. Lukashenko stated that Belarus would cut off gas supplies via the pipeline if Poland fulfilled its threat.
Lukashenko's remarks caused gas prices in Europe to rise by almost two percent to $847 per thousand cubic meters. Natural gas was trading at $838.8 per thousand cubic meters, according to the London ICE stock exchange.
Warsaw announced the possible closure of borders due to the migration crisis. On the night of November 10, migrants tried to break through the fence to get to Poland. The European Union believes that Lukashenko deliberately caused the crisis to occur as he weakened control over the arrival of migrants in the republic in order to respond to the cooling in relations between Minsk and the West. The EU is now working on a new package of sanctions against the government of Belarus.