Putin chides Lukashenko over risk to chop off gasoline to EU – POLITICO

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Russian president Vladimir Putin on Saturday expressed disapproval of a risk by Belarus’ chief to chop off Russian gasoline provides to the European Union.

“He can, I assume, it’s no good, although, and I’ll discuss to him about it … in case he simply mentioned it out of anger,” Putin informed Russian TV channel Rossiya 1 in response to Alexander Lukashenko’s risk to show off the gasoline faucets.

“This might be a violation of our transit contract and I hope it won’t come to that,” Putin mentioned, referring to agreements governing the stream of Russian gasoline alongside pipelines operating by means of Belarus. Reducing off the gasoline “wouldn’t contribute to the event of our relationships with Belarus as a transit nation,” he warned.

The Russian president additionally claimed to not have heard Lukashenko’s gasoline risk which was relayed on Thursday by Belarussian state media. Lukashenko made the risk because the EU thought of extra sanctions on his regime in response to the migrant disaster on the Belarus-Poland border.

“To be sincere, that is the primary time I’ve heard about it, as a result of I’ve talked to Alexander Grigorievich [Lukashenko] twice lately, and he has by no means informed me about it, by no means even hinted at it,” Putin mentioned.

On Friday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov mentioned Russia will respect its gasoline contracts with Europe. “Russia has been, is and can stay a rustic that fulfills all obligations to offer European shoppers with gasoline,” Peskov mentioned, based on Deutsche Welle

Putin blamed the EU for the disaster which has stranded 1000’s of migrants on the border between Belarus and Poland. “We must always not overlook the place these migrant-related crises got here from. Is Belarus the rationale for these issues?
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No, the explanations have been created by the Western nations, the European nations themselves,” he claimed within the Rossiya 1 interview.

“Russia has completely nothing to do with it,” Putin added.

He additionally denied Belarussian and Russian airways’ involvement in flying migrants from the Center East to Belarus.

“Our aviation corporations don’t carry these folks. None of our corporations transport them. By the way in which, Belavia, as [Lukashenko] informed me, doesn’t carry them, both. They e book charters,” Putin mentioned. Belarus’ state-owned airline Belavia is anticipated to be focused subsequent week in new sanctions into consideration by EU nations.

Tensions between Minsk and Brussels have been escalating because the EU imposed sanctions on Lukashenko’s regime after he imposed a crackdown on opponents following presidential elections in October 2020 that have been broadly seen as fraudulent.

EU leaders accuse Lukashenko of instumentalizing unlawful migration in a “hybrid assault,” by means of his efforts to push migrants to the borders in response to these sanctions.

Amid rising fears for the security of migrants caught within the standoff, Polish police discovered the physique of a younger Syrian man Saturday close to the border with Belarus. Migrants have made a number of efforts to push previous the Polish border fence, which is protected by 15,000 troops, police and border guards. They’ve additionally been making efforts to cross into Latvia and Lithuania.

In the meantime, army tensions between NATO nations and Russia are additionally intensifying as Russia amasses troops on its border with Ukraine. The chance of an unintended armed battle is increased than in the course of the Chilly Warfare, Gen. Nick Carter, Chief of the U.Okay. Protection Employees, mentioned in an interview Saturday. The U.Okay. has despatched a detachment of troops to Poland to offer “engineer help” on the border with Belarus.

Putin blamed Western nations for heightening tensions, saying U.S. and NATO workouts within the Black Sea have been a “critical problem” for Russia.

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