Lukashenko threatens to block transit of Russian gas to Europe

Belarus can block the transit of Russian gas to the European Union if "unacceptable" sanctions are imposed against it, said self-proclaimed Belarusian president Alexander.

According to him, the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline, which supplies gas from Western Siberia to Germany through Poland, can be shut down.

"Poland threatens us that it will close the border. Please close: fewer migrants will move there. That's not the question. What if we close the gas transit through Belarus? It will not be supplied through Ukraine. The Russian border is closed there. There are no roads through the Baltic States. If we close it for the Poles and, for example, for the Germans, what will happen then?" said Lukashenka as quoted by the state agency BelTA.

"Nothing should stop us from defending our sovereignty and independence" Lukashenko stressed.

He reminded that the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline passes through Belarus, and the gas supply through it increased after Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed Gazprom to fill empty gas storage facilities in Austria and Germany.

"We are keeping Europe warm. They are still threatening us that they will close the border. And if we cut off natural gas supplies there?" said Lukashenka indignantly.

He instructed the Belarusian Foreign Ministry to "warn everyone in Europe" that if additional "indigestible" and "unacceptable" sanctions are introduced, Minsk will respond.

"How should we answer. We agreed with you six months ago," he said.

The European Union is discussing sanctions against about 30 individuals and legal entities in response to the migrant crisis on the Belarusian-Polish border.

The sanctions lists are expected to include Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei, as well as the national airline Belavia. The company may be deprived of the possibility to lease aircraft, and measures are discussed up to the ban on current contracts.

According to Bloomberg, Russian national airline Aeroflot may also be included in the sanctions lists. Aeroflot said on Thursday said that the information that it is taking part in mass transportation of migrants to Belarus is not true, and reports about sanctions can adversely affect activities.

  Lukashenko, Poland, EU