Belarus threatens EU gas as bloc considers sanctions
Amid heightened tensions, Belarus has threatened to cut off gas supplies to Europe if sanctions are imposed due to an escalating migrant crisis at the country’s border with Poland, where thousands of people are enduring freezing conditions in hopes of crossing into the EU. Western officials have accused Belarus of provoking the crisis to undermine EU security, however, Belarus has denied these accusations. The EU is reportedly creating a new set of sanctions to impose on Belarus due to the tensions and migrant build-up.
Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko threatened natural gas supplies and commented on high prices in Europe. More EU sanctions could be introduced against Belarus as early as Monday, according to two unnamed diplomats. The diplomats also stated that the airport in the capital city of Minsk could be sanctioned in an effort to stop international airlines carrying migrants from landing there. The EU has accused Belarus of mounting a hybrid attack by encouraging thousands of people to try to cross into Poland. Furthermore, it claims that the country’s leadership has enticed individuals with the false promise of easy entry into the EU.