Alyaksandr Lukashenka recently granted an interview ro the Turkish television and radio company TRT, in which he warned that Belarus might suspend natural gas transit to Europe due to the sanctions imposed.
“If the sanctions they are enforcing or will enforce in the future put us in a state of emergency and we have no other way of responding to their sanctions with other measures, we will resort to this strict measure, too,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes Lukashenka.
It is not the first time the notorious Belarusian politician has threatened the West with blocking gas transit to Europe. Amid a similar situation that took place in November, the Kremlin said the statement regarding the feasibility of blocking gas transit to Europe had been not harmonised with them. Then Vladimir Putin distanced himself from Lukashenka’s threats, stressing that he had not discussed this issue with him:
“Well, to be honest, this is the first time I’ve heard about it because I’ve spoken to Alyaksandr Ryhoravich twice recently. He never once told me about it, never even hinted at it. Well, he may probably do it. Although there’s nothing good in it.”
Notably, on the back of the above mentioned interview to the Turkish broadcaster, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov expressed hope on Monday that ‘no factors’ would hamper the ‘flawless continuation’ of Russia’s fulfilling its obligations under existing gas contracts, the Russian news agency TASS reports.