Putin and Merkel Discuss the Belarus-Poland Crisis Again
Nov. 11, 2021 (EIRNS)—As the UN Security Council was expected to meet Nov. 11 on an emergency basis upon request by France, Ireland, and Estonia, acting German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin had the second telephone talk in two days on the Belarus-Poland crisis.
According to the Kremlin account, Putin reiterated his advice to restore “contacts between the EU states and Belarus with a view to resolving this problem.” (The EU had cut off relations with Belarus after President Alexander Lukashenko won the August 9, 2020 election, and to this day, pretends that Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who fled the country on Aug. 10, holds office.) Putin also addressed the question of Ukraine’s “destructive policy, which is relying increasingly on force. Thus, it is using assault drones in violation of the Minsk Package of Measures.” The Kremlin statement further stressed that “the destabilizing and dangerous provocations by the armed forces of the United States and other NATO countries in the Black Sea was also noted.”
Meanwhile, in the midst of a dangerously escalating situation, Belarus President Lukashenko threatened to shut down the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline that supplies Europe with Russian gas if the EU extends new sanctions against Belarus for “causing” the border crisis. “We furnish Europe with heat, yet they threaten to close the border. And what if we shut off natural gas there? Therefore, I would recommend that the Polish leadership, the Lithuanians, and other empty-headed individuals think before they speak,” Lukashenko said, as quoted by BelTA news agency reported TASS.
Yamal-Europe goes from Russian gas fields to Belarus, where it takes a northern route through Poland to Germany, and a southern route through Ukraine to the Czech Republic and Austria.
“But it is up to them. If they close [the border], let them do it,” Lukashenko said. At the same time, he ordered the Foreign Ministry “to warn everyone in Europe: If they introduce additional sanctions that are ‘indigestible’ and ‘unacceptable’ for us, then we should respond.”