Moscow hopes Belarus will not close gas transit tap for EU

As two of Russia’s natural gas pipelines to EU member states run through Belarus and Aleksander Lukashenko has pointed to this fact with regard to possible new EU sanctions on Belarus, Russian President Vladimir Putin has pointed to Minsk’s commitment to ensure the gas transit, British public broadcaster BBC reports.
Russia has nine gas pipelines to the EU, two of them cross the area of Belarus, which has strained relations with the EU. On Saturday, November 13, Putin told Rossiya state television channel that he had spoken to his Belarus counterpart twice and hadn’t even had a «hint» of the threat to cut off gas supplies.
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«Of course, in theory, Lukashenko as president of a transit country could order our supplies to be cut to Europe. But this would mean a breach of our gas transit contract and I hope this will not happen,» he said. «There’s nothing good in this, and I will, of course, talk to him about this subject. Perhaps he said that in a fit of temper.»
The comments by Lukashenko on Thursday, November 17, came amid the threat of fresh EU sanctions, which could be introduced on this week over the increase of irregular migration to Poland and other EU members via Belarus. Possible measures include stopping international airlines carrying migrants from landing at the airport in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, BBC reports.