Belarus-Poland: Polish troops use water cannons at border
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Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko warned the EU that if they continued to sanction Belarus over the ongoing migrant crisis, he would cut off the gas line that flows from Russia, through Belarus and into Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Belarus has been accused of encouraging thousands of migrants to travel to the Polish border to undermine EU security, claims the Belarusian Government has denied.
Mr Lukashenko warned: “If they impose additional sanctions on us… we must respond.
“We are heating Europe, and they are threatening us. What if we halt natural gas supplies?
“Therefore, I would recommend the leadership of Poland, Lithuanians and other empty-headed people to think before speaking.”
EU member states rely heavily on Russia for around 40 percent of their gas, whereas the UK’s main gas importer is Norway, and therefore the UK would not be affected heavily by a Russian gas cut.
In a poll of 5,415 people, held from November 16 to 18, a large 86 percent of voters said the UK should not divert gas supplies to struggling EU states if Russia or Belarus cut them off.
One voter, Smuj Smith, said: “If the boot were on the other foot, would any EU member state risk shortages of its own energy supplies to help the UK?
“In fact, they would all hoot with joy at the prospect of ‘punishing’ the UK for leaving.
“Unlike Boris, I see no ‘friends’ in Europe.”
Another voter, K Dave, agreed: “Why on God’s great earth should we step in to help the EU with gas, when all they give us is threat, threat, threat!”
The UK has stepped up to help in the migrant crisis by sending soldiers to the Polish frontier, where tens of thousands of migrants have camped for weeks in freezing conditions in an attempt to enter the EU.
But many Express readers felt that the UK should not give a helping hand to the EU.
Some referred back to the French government’s threats to cut off the energy supply to the UK.
Reader JG said: “We are still living under the threat of the French turning off electricity interconnectors to England and Jersey, unless we agree to hand out fishing licences like biscuits.
“The EU are forever going on about the potential of Putin using energy supplies as a political weapon, but have no problem with France doing the same to Britain.
“As far as I am concerned, the EU can freeze.”
Belarus: Gunshots heard at Polish border amidst migrant crisis
In October, Clement Beaune said France was willing to cut off British energy supply as a punitive measure after the UK Government refused fishing licenses to a minority of French boats.
He said: “We defend our interests, we do it nicely and diplomatically, but when that doesn’t work, we take measures.
“The Channel Islands and the UK are dependent on us for their energy supply.
“They think they can live on their own and badmouth Europe, and because it doesn’t work, they indulge in one-upmanship, in an aggressive way.”
In an attempt to defend his comments, Mr Beaune said his country had to use “the language of force” because “that’s the only language this British Government understands”.
After continued threats from French ministers, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “We are simply not going to roll over in the face of these threats.
“Those threats are completely unwarranted.”
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