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President of Belarus responds with threats and hints at a new world war – Observer

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On Wednesday, the Belarusian president responded with threats to European sanctions over the Ryanair incident on Sunday and accused the West of waging a “cold war” against the country, which could escalate into a “new world war.”

“We are at the forefront of a new war, no longer cold, but icy.”– said Alexander Lukashenko in his speech in front of the two chambers of the Belarusian parliament, quoted by the local official news agency BelTA.

For the President of Belarus, a “hybrid war on several levels” began against the country, whose goal is to “demonize” Belarus.

We are a small country, but we will respond accordingly. There are similar examples in the world. But before we act thoughtlessly, we must remember that Belarus is the center of Europe and that if something breaks out here, it will be a new world war, ”he warned.

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Lukashenka stressed that, in the face of any sanctions, attacks or provocations, Belarus will “respond harshly”warning that the West “leaves no other choice.”

We compensate for the sanctions with active shares in other markets. We will replace inexorably aging Europe with fast-growing Asia. Our society is ready to become a new Eurasia, an outpost of a new Eurasia, ”he added.

In turn, Prime Minister of Belarus Roman Golovchenko said that a package of protection measures for companies and citizens has already been prepared, which consists of a possible embargo on the import of goods from the West and restrictions on their transit.

In addition, Lukashenka also warned that Belarus can weaken control over drug trafficking and illegal migration, forcing the Europeans to take on the solution of the entire problem.

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The Belarusian president also warned those who are preparing new sanctions against Belarus so that they “do not forget to compensate” for the costs incurred by Minsk during the investigation of the incident.

“You have to pay for this,” he added.

Lukashenka reiterated that in the incident with the forced landing of the Ryanair aircraft, his actions were consistent with the legal framework.

“I acted in accordance with the law, protecting people in accordance with all international standards,” Lukashenka said, stating that allegations that a passenger plane was forced to land by a MiG-29 fighter are “a complete lie”.

The President of Belarus argued that the task of the Belarusian fighter was to ensure communication with a passenger plane and deliver it to the Minsk airport in case of a critical situation.

Belarusian authorities arrested journalist Roman Protasevich on Sunday after Lukashenko ordered a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius to be sent to Minsk airport.

Protasevich, 26, is the former editor-in-chief of the influential Nexta channel, who became the main source of information in the early weeks of anti-government protests following the August 2020 presidential elections.

Several Western organizations and countries have already condemned the actions of the Belarusian authorities, which claim to have acted lawfully in the interception of a commercial Ryanair flight, claiming that the Palestinian group Hamas created an explosion threat.

Belarus is in a political crisis following the August 9, 2020 elections, which, according to official results, brought President Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power for more than two decades, to a sixth term with 80% of the vote.

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The opposition declared the elections rigged and declared their victory in the presidential elections.

Since then, the country has seen a wave of popular protests demanding Lukashenka’s resignation, opposition-led demonstrations that have been brutally suppressed by Belarusian security forces.

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World

Nord Stream: Anthony Blinken called Putin’s accusations about the pipeline “absurd and outrageous”

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“I have nothing to add to these absurd statements by President Putin that we or our allied partners are somehow responsible for this,” Blinken said at a press conference.

The head of the US diplomatic mission once again condemned the “scandalous disinformation campaign” of Russia.

At the conference, along with his Canadian counterpart Melanie Joly, the American said he did not intend to prejudge the “ongoing investigation” into the origin of the explosions that led to leaks in gas pipelines, but assured that he was in “close contact with the Europeans on this issue.

The head of the Russian state today, during his speech in the Kremlin after the annexation of four Ukrainian regions, accused Western representatives of being behind the “explosions” that caused large leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines built for transporting Russian gas towards Europe.

“By organizing explosions on international gas pipelines crossing the bottom of the Baltic Sea, they actually began to destroy the European energy infrastructure,” he condemned, attributing this “sabotage” to the “Anglo-Saxons”.

Vladimir Putin also stressed that the United States is “pressing” on European countries so that they completely stop Russian gas supplies “in order to capture the European market.”

Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the European Union (EU) and NATO said this week that the Nord Stream leaks were due to “deliberate acts” and “sabotage”.

For its part, the Kremlin called “meaningless and absurd” European accusations that Russia could be held responsible for the damage found in the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines.

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Ukraine on Tuesday blamed Russia for the pipeline leak, condemning a “terrorist attack” against the European Union (EU).

The first Nord Stream, capable of pumping 55 billion cubic meters of gas a year, was halted after Russia claimed an oil leak at the only Russian compressor station still in operation.

On the other hand, Nord Stream 2 was never put into operation due to the blockade of infrastructure by Berlin even before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.

However, both pipelines are filled with gas and therefore must maintain a stable pressure.

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“Victory will be ours!” Putin assured on Red Square

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“Victory will be ours!” shouted the President of Russia to the applause of a crowd of thousands.

“Welcome home!” – Putin said, addressing the residents of the annexed Ukrainian territories, believing that they “returned to their historical homeland.”

“Russia does not just open the doors of its home to people, it opens its heart,” he said from a stage specially installed on the symbolic square near the Kremlin wall (the residence of the President of Russia).

Many Russian flags fluttered among the crowd in attendance, and some people also wore black and orange striped St. George ribbons, an old tsarist military award that became a symbol of the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany.

Several giant screens and a powerful sound system were also installed so that people could follow the speech of the President of Russia and the performance of various Russian pop stars who performed on stage.

The Russian head of state, in power for 22 years, referred to a “special, historic day of truth and justice” at a time when Russian soldiers are “heroically defending the people’s choice” in Ukraine, he said.

“We will do everything to support our brothers and sisters in Zaporozhye, Kherson, Luhansk and Donetsk, improve their security, restart the economy, restore,” he also said, hours after signing the annexation of these four Ukrainian regions, in a ceremony in the Kremlin.

After this symbolic act in the Kremlin, which was a new step in his war against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a neighboring country, Putin defended his mantra with a raised microphone that Russia created modern Ukraine.

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“I can’t help but remember how the Soviet Union was formed. It was Russia that created modern Ukraine, transferring significant territories there, the historical territories of Russia itself along with the population,” Putin said.

“We are stronger because we are together. The truth is with us, and there is strength,” Putin said, adding once again: “Then victory will be ours!”

Kyiv and its Western allies have widely condemned such an annexation, with NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a Western defense bloc) classifying it as “illegitimate” and the countries of the European Union (EU) and the G7 (a group of the most industrialized countries in the world : Germany, Canada, USA, France, Italy, Japan and the UK) declared that they would “never recognize [tais] alleged annexations.

Putin has no intention of visiting the four Ukrainian regions now annexed by Moscow in the midst of a military conflict with Kyiv, a Kremlin spokesman said.

“Not yet, because at the moment there is a lot of work ahead, but this will definitely happen after some time,” said Dmitry Peskov, who was quoted by Russian news agencies and asked about the possibility of such a visit.

The four occupied regions of Ukraine, whose annexation treaties Putin signed today, make up about 15% of Ukraine’s territory – Donetsk and Lugansk (which he had already recognized as independent republics shortly before the invasion of Ukraine), Kherson and Zaporozhye (which hosts the largest nuclear power plant in Europe). ).

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine has already caused the flight of more than 13 million people – more than six million internally displaced people and more than 7.5 million to European countries – according to the latest UN figures, which rank this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945).

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The Russian invasion, justified by Putin as the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community as a whole, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions against Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed since the beginning of the war, which entered its 219th day today, 5,996 civilians killed and 8,848 wounded, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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EU Agreement on Excess Profit Tax and Energy Savings

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This Friday in Brussels, European Union energy ministers reached an agreement on emergency intervention in the face of rising energy prices, which includes a solidarity contribution to the exceptional profits of companies in the energy sector.

The regulation, proposed this month by the Commission and given political approval this Friday 27, provides for a 33 percent tax on excessive profits from fossil fuel companies, to be converted into a “solidarity contribution” to be redistributed to the most vulnerable, a profit ceiling companies producing low-cost (renewable) electricity, and plans to reduce electricity consumption, voluntary (10% for total demand) and mandatory (5% during “peak hours”).

“Agreement! The ministers reached a political agreement on measures to reduce high electricity prices: a mandatory reduction in electricity demand, limiting the market revenues of over-marginal electricity producers and solidarity contributions from fossil fuel producers,” announced the current Czech Presidency of the Council. EU.

At the meeting, represented by Portugal’s Environment and Climate Change Minister Duarte Cordeiro, 27 countries will discuss policy options to reduce high gas prices, but no decision is expected today despite a large group of 15 member states. , including Portugal, demanded a “ceiling” on gas prices.

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