Putin: Belarusian move to cut gas flows risks hurting bilateral ties

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that Belarus did not talk with him before raising the chance of cutting Russian natural gas flows to Europe, adding that such a move would risk harming bilateral ties between Moscow and Minsk and destabilizing the European energy market.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko threatened on Thursday to retaliate against any new EU sanctions imposed over the escalating migrant crisis on Belarus-Poland border.

"If they impose additional sanctions on us... we must respond," Lukashenko said in comments carried by state news agency Belta, suggesting Belarus could shut off gas transit from Russia to the EU through the Yamal-Europe pipeline.

The Yamal–Europe natural gas pipeline connects Russian natural gas fields in the Yamal Peninsula and Western Siberia with Poland and Germany, through Belarus.

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