"MOSCOW — Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko opened another potential front against Europe on Thursday, threatening to choke off gas supplies amid a deepening crisis that has brought migrants surging to E.U. borders and Western leaders planning to retaliate with more sanctions.
Lukashenko’s warning jolted energy markets and further suggested his authoritarian regime still had the backing of its key ally Russia, whose natural gas pipelines — including one crossing Belarus — are critical for European supplies.
It is also Russian President Vladimir Putin who would decide whether Lukashenko could follow through with threats to turn off the Belarus pipeline, which supplies about 20 percent of Europe’s Russian gas, according to analysts. So far, Russia has insisted it has no part in Lukashenko’s growing feud even as it declines to rein him in."