Migrant row: Belarus threatens to cut gas to Europe

Threats from the president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, to interrupt the flow of Russian gas to Europe are the clearest indications yet that he has no plans to back down from the rapidly escalating confrontation between Belarus and the EU over the presence of growing numbers of asylum seekers on the border with Poland.

Global energy prices are at record high levels and expected to stay there. So Lukashenko’s threat to disrupt gas supplies to Europe is one EU leaders cannot afford to ignore.

The humanitarian crisis on the eastern borders of the EU is in fact just the latest and potentially most dangerous stage in Lukashenko’s continuing struggle to maintain his grip on power in Belarus in the face of mass protests that have undermined the legitimacy of his regime since a contested election in August 2020.

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