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Belarus Reduces Poland’s Oil Supplies for Unscheduled Maintenance

Gomeltransneft Druzhba oil pipeline.

Belarus’ oil pipeline operator has temporarily restricted oil flows to Poland for unscheduled maintenance, Warsaw said Wednesday amid an unfolding migrant crisis on the Belarus-Poland border.

Poland’s pipeline operator PERN Group said Russia’s Transneft pipeline monopoly had informed it that “oil pumping to Poland and Germany will be slightly reduced.”

“The monthly volume of raw material will be fulfilled as expected. The Polish oil system is fully secured and operates continuously,” it added.

Last week, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko threatened to cut off the transit of natural gas to Europe in response to any new sanctions over the migrant crisis.

Belarus’ Gomeltransneft Druzhba restricted supplies the day after Germany’s energy regulator suspended the certification for Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline.

Later Wednesday, Belarus' Energy Ministry said it was terminating electricity supplies to neighboring Ukraine starting Thursday.

The West accuses Lukashenko of luring migrants to Belarus to send them across the EU border in revenge for sanctions imposed last year after a heavy crackdown on the opposition.

EU officials say they expect to approve new sanctions over the migrant crisis next week.

Poland accuses Belarus of using intimidation to force migrants to breach the frontier and refusing to allow them to leave border areas.

Belarus and its close ally Russia have in turn accused Poland of violating international norms by blocking the migrants and violently beating them back.

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