Sergey Kondratiev, Deputy Head of the Economic Department of the Institute for Energy and Finance, gave an interview to the electronic publication "Eurasia.Expert" about the transit of Russian gas through Belarus.
On November 11, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that in the event of expansion of the EU sanctions, Minsk could cut off transit flows through the Belarusian territory, including the transit of gas through the Yamal-Europe pipeline. The Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that such actions would cause great damage not only to the European energy sector, but also to the development of Russian-Belarusian relations. Nevertheless, the Belarusian leader stressed that the threats he voiced in response to the sanctions are not a joke, since “there is nowhere to retreat.” What will such a position of Minsk lead to, and what losses the involved parties can incur? Sergey Kondratyev, Deputy Head of the Economic Department of the Institute for Energy and Finance Foundation, assessed in an interview with Eurasia.Expert.
- Sergey Vadimovich, how realistic is the scenario of stopping gas transit?
- This scenario is unrealistic for several reasons. First, because the Belarusian section of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline belongs to Gazprom and has nothing to do with the Belarusian state. Stopping the transit is probably possible with the use of the Belarusian law enforcement agencies, but in fact this will mean the seizure of the property of the Russian company, and this will already be a serious challenge not only to European countries, but also to Russia. If we hypothetically present such an option, then mainly Polish consumers may suffer from this, because they are now more dependent on gas supplies through this gas pipeline, but this will not be some kind of critical situation.
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