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Is Putin losing his patience with Belarus?

As the migrant crisis on the border between the European Union and Belarus continues to spiral, Russian President Vladimir Putin is signaling that his ally may have gone too far — at least in one regard.Putin, in televised comments on Saturday (November 13), said that his Belarus counterpart Alexander Lukashenko didn’t consult with him before the Belarus president threatened earlier to cut the flow of Russian natural gas to Europe, which move through his country.Putin is saying here that such a move would risk Belarus’s ties to Moscow, that he’d spoken to Lukashenko twice before the threat and it never came up, never was even hinted at…… that it would cause “great damage” to European energy, and that he’ll talk to Lukashenko again, to make sure this wasn’t thing he said in the “heat of the moment.”Russia has been Belarus’s closest ally and partner for years and Lukashenko is more dependent on Putin than ever. But the rest of Europe is a huge market for Russian natural gas. It gets about a third of its gas from Russia.Meanwhile, on the border thousands of people from Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere are still huddling in the cold.Polish police say they found the body of a young Syrian man near the Belarus border, and although it isn’t immediately clear how he died, he’s now the eighth known migrant to die in this crisis with winter closing in.The EU accuses Belarus of fomenting the situation, which it denies, and of actively helping the migrants cross the border.Video from the Polish defense ministry is said to show Belarus security forces using strobe lights to blind Polish border guards in the night.Putin says the migrants’ plight is ultimately on the hands of the EU and United States for the conflicts and poverty in the countries they’re coming from.

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