Belarus: Moscow promises gas deliveries to Europe will continue despite threats from Minsk

Tensions continued, Friday, November 12, at the border between Poland and Belarus. For weeks, Europeans have accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of fueling the migration crisis by issuing visas to migrants and chartering flights, notably from Turkey, in revenge for the Western sanctions imposed in 2020 on the result of the brutal repression of opponents. The Belarusian leader threatened on Thursday to respond to possible new European sanctions by interrupting gas deliveries passing through his territory.

This crisis in central Europe is causing growing concern in the international community and was the subject of an emergency meeting on Thursday at the United Nations Security Council. At the end of this meeting, several countries, including the United States, France and the United Kingdom, accused Minsk of wanting to “Destabilize neighboring countries” and “Divert attention from its own growing human rights violations”.

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  • Kremlin promises gas deliveries to Europe will continue

While the Old Continent is already facing soaring energy prices, the Kremlin assured on Friday that Russian gas deliveries to Europe would not be suspended, despite threats from Belarus to close the floodgates of ‘an important gas pipeline passing through its soil in the event of new European sanctions. Brussels has, in fact, indicated that new sanctions are planned for the beginning of next week.

Russia “Is and will remain a country which fulfills all its obligations to deliver gas to European consumers”Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

In a joint statement issued after an emergency meeting of the Security Council, Estonia, France, Ireland, the United States, Norway and the United Kingdom estimated Thursday evening that the Belarus’ goal was also to “Destabilize neighboring countries” and of “Divert attention from its own growing human rights violations”. “This tactic is unacceptable and calls for a strong international reaction and cooperation in order to hold it to account [à la Biélorussie] », underlined the signatories, without however mentioning concrete measures.

Earlier, in a telephone interview with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the second in two days, the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, considered that the settlement of this “Serious migratory crisis” went through the “Reestablishment of contacts between EU countries and [la Biélorussie] », according to a statement from the Kremlin.

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  • Syrians, Iraqis and Yemenis banned from flying to Belarus from Turkey

Nationals of Iraq, Syria and Yemen are prohibited from“Buy tickets and board for Belarus from airports in Turkey”, the Turkish Aviation Authority announced on Friday. In a message posted on her Twitter account, she specifies that this measure, due to “Problems of illegal border crossing between Belarus and the European Union”, will remain in force ” until further notice “. Belarus’ main airline, Belavia, has said it will comply with the restriction.

This announcement comes as a few thousand migrants, mainly from the Middle East, are stranded in difficult conditions at the border between Belarus and Poland, the latter preventing them from passing.

Faced with this influx, Poland deployed 15,000 troops, erected a fence topped with barbed wire and approved the construction of a border wall. Fearing to be drawn into the crisis, Ukraine, a neighboring country of Belarus, announced Thursday the deployment of 8,500 additional soldiers at the border.

Brussels has been trying for several days to stem these arrivals of migrants in Belarus by contacting countries, especially in the Middle East, to convince them to prevent people from boarding flights to Minsk. Turkey is the first country to take such a step. Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, has two international airports which make it a major hub for air traffic between the Middle East and Europe.

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Belarus: Moscow promises gas deliveries to Europe will continue despite threats from Minsk