Belarus-Poland: Putin wants to ‘test EU response’ says professor
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The Russian President has been shaking up Europe with a number of devious plots as a culmination of crises erupt across the bloc. A gas crisis due to Mr Putin’s decision to restrict supplies travelling into Europe through his vast network of pipelines was his first move that threatened a disaster in Europe. While he was awaiting the approval of a new pipeline, Nord Stream 2, he reportedly restricted gas travelling from his other pipelines in what his opponents dubbed a “geopolitical weapon”.
Now, following a thorough examination of the documentation, Germany has suspended the certification process.
It is likely to be seen as a hostile move by Russia and could fuel growing tensions with the West.
It comes after Mr Putin has reportedly sent nearly 100,000 troops to the Ukraine-Russian border as tension heat up over a migrant crisis in Belarus he is also accused of instigating.
Anders Aslund, author of ‘Russia’s crony Capitalism’ wrote on Twitter: “The Kremlin is instigating a perfect storm in Eastern Europe as the winter is approaching.”
The international community has called for sanctions to be slapped on Mr Putin to stop his gas squeeze.
But US President Joe Biden already waived sanctions back in May.
Mr Aslund said: “The gas war should be easy to combat.
“Just impose the legislated US sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and the pipeline will rust away in the Baltic Sea and never certify it.”
He also urged that action be taken immediately by the EU before chaos erupts.
Mr Aslund warned: “The West, the EU, UK and US, need to act hard and fast.
“The worst provocation against Russian aggression is not to react or to react slowly.
“The Kremlin does respect force and credible threat of force.”
Belarus has also joined in with the apparent geopolitical games.
The Yamal-Europe pipeline, owned by Russia’s state-owned Gazprom, goes from Russia into Europe, passing through Belarus.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko threatened on Thursday to retaliate against new EU sanctions against Minsk over a current migrant crisis taking hold at the EU-Belarus border.
He hinted at cutting the transit of gas and other goods via Belarus into Europe.
But Mr Putin, who has said he has always honoured long term gas contracts and has denied he is responsible for Europe’s gas crisis, said that Mr Lukashenko’s move would breach Russia gas contracts and has claimed that he “hopes it does not happen”.
But Russia and Belarus have been close allies for many years.
While Mr Putin has said that this move has even risked cutting ties, Russia is being blamed for the migrant crisis taking hold of Poland’s doorstep.
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Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland’s Prime Minister, said that while Mr Lukashenko is orchestrating the crisis, his close ally Mr Putin is the brains behind the crisis.
He said: “This attack which Lukashenko is conducting has its mastermind in Moscow, the mastermind is President Putin.”
Thousands of migrants are now stuck at the border in the freezing cold, with reports of people dying.
Mr Lukashenko denies claims it is sending people over the border in revenge for EU sanctions.
Now, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, all part of the EU, are experiencing soaring numbers of migrants attempting to enter their countries illegally from Belarus over the last few months.
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