Alexander Lukashenko: Relations with Russia poisoned by gas

'Our relations with Russia have been poisoned by gas for the long-term future,' Belarussian President Vladimir Lukashenko announced while commenting on Gazprom's decision to stop transporting gas to Belarus.

According to the press centre of the Belarussian government Mr Lukashenko said that 'such a move is unprecedented. To cut off people's gas when it is minus 20 degrees centigrade outside has not happened since the Second World War.' As a result the government has had to impose severe restrictions on the distribution of energy resources. The Belarussian Cabinet sees Gazprom's move as a deliberate attempt to blackmail Belarus and put pressure on the Belarussian people. However, Belarussian Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky said the problems with the gas supply would not affect the Belarussian people.

The press centre also reported that Mr Lukashenko has summoned Belarussian Ambassador to the Russian Federation Vladimir Grigoriev for an urgent meeting.

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