The White House has cautioned European allies to prepare for a Russian invasion of Ukraine with more border military build-up and concerns over gas supplies.
U.S. intelligence has briefed European responders about a probable Kremlin military effort in eastern Ukraine to annex areas akin to the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
Hundreds of thousands of Russian troops, tanks, and artillery gathered near the border, and satellite photography revealed enormous vehicle camps in Yelnya, Bryansk, and Kursk.
For years, Ukraine has fought proxy wars in the east with Russian-backed separatists, deploying an additional 8,500 troops to the border.
Meanwhile, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have warned that the border immigration could lead to violence between Moscow’s close allies Belarus and Poland.
Ukrainian authorities have dispatched an additional 8,500 troops to the heavily-militarized 300-mile frontier with Russia.
The EU has accused Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko of forcing migrants to cross into Poland, which has deployed 15,000 soldiers to strengthen the border.
Lukashenko has also threatened to cut off natural gas supplies from Russia to Europe via his country. However, this threat was met with an angry rebuke from Moscow today.
Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, said Lukashenko had not coordinated with Moscow before remarking and added that Russian pledged to fulfill gas contracts are beyond doubt.
It happened after Lukashenko spoke out at a government meeting on Thursday, saying, “We are heating Europe, and they are threatening us… What if we cut off their natural gas?
“I would recommend the Polish and Lithuanian authorities to think before they speak up.”
The Yamal-Europe pipeline runs through Belarus and into Poland and carries around 20% of Russia’s total gas export capacity to Europe.
Natural gas provides around a quarter of the continent’s energy, with more than half of that coming from Russia, which sits on top of the world’s most significant gas reserves.
Just a few weeks ago, European leaders attempted to reach an agreement with Russia to enhance gas supply as reserves ran low due to increased demand when economies reopened following the Covid disaster, reported Daily Mail.
The EU accuses Putin of limiting gas supply as a political negotiating chip to build a new gas pipeline, the multibillion-dollar Nord Stream 2.