Brussels (Brussels Morning) Belarus has warned that it could suspend transit of Russian natural gas to the EU in retaliation for the latest sanctions.
Spot prices of natural gas rose roughly 12 euro on the Dutch gas market on Monday after the announcement, reaching 115.73 euro per MWh, Reuters reported.
Dutch spot month gas prices rose more than 10 euro and reached 115.50 euro per MWh.
Western countries, including EU member states, imposed new sanctions against Belarus earlier this month, targeting dozens of entities and individuals.
Western countries accuse Lukashenko of rigging elections last year and of ordering a major crackdown on anti-government protests and the opposition as well as orchestrating the migrant crisis on the border with the EU. Belarus rejects the accusations.
Lukashenko warns against sanctions
“If the sanctions, which they have imposed or will impose in future, will lead us to an emergency situation and we will have no other way out but to respond by other measures to their sanctions, we will use this harsh measure”, Lukashenko warned, as reported by the BelTA state-owned news agency.
The Yamal-Europe natural gas pipeline that passes through Belarus and Poland transports up to 30 billion cubic metres of natural gas from Russia to Germany per year.
Flow through the pipeline has stabilised in recent days after delays which Russia says were due to its filling of reserves.
The Belarusian oil and gas company Belorusneft recently cancelled next year’s export plans via the Druzhba oil pipeline after the EU imposed sanctions on the company, according to three traders familiar with the situation.
Last month, Lukashenko announced plans to retaliate against any additional EU sanctions, when he stated that he could halt transit of Russian gas and goods through the country.
On Monday, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, expressed hope that nothing would prevent Russia from fulfilling its contractual gas supply obligations.