Russia has closed a major gas pipeline to Europe, saying it needs repairs.Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom has said Nord Stream 1 pipeline restrictions will last for the next three days, notifying British broadcasters BCC.
Russia has already drastically cut gas exports via pipelines. It denies accusations of using its energy supply as a weapon of war against the West.
The pipeline was shut down for 10 days in July, also for repairs, according to Russia, and has recently been running at just 20% capacity after what Russia described as an equipment defect.
The president of Germany’s network regulator has said the country could cope if Russia resumed distribution within days.
European leaders fear Russia may extend the moratorium in an attempt to boost gas prices.
A sharp rise threatens to trigger a cost-of-living crisis during the winter months, which could force governments to spend billions of dollars to ease the burden.
On Tuesday, August 30, France’s Energy Transition Minister Agnes Panier-Lunacher accused Russia of “using gas as a weapon of war.”
However, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin denied the accusation, claiming that Western sanctions had damaged Russia’s infrastructure and caused the disruption.
He argued that “technical problems” caused by sanctions were the only thing preventing Russia from supplying gas via the pipeline.
However, he did not specify what the problem was.
Earlier this month, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said the pipeline was fully operational and free of any technical problems Russia claimed.
Earlier this week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pledged to intervene in the energy market.
“We need a new market model for electricity that truly works and rebalances,” Ursula von der Leyen said at a conference in Slovenia.
Before the conflict, Germany had approved the €10bn Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which ran parallel to the pipeline of the same name, until Russia sent troops to Ukraine in February. After that, it stopped working.
The Nord Stream 1 pipeline stretches 1,200 kilometers under the Baltic Sea from the Russian coast near St. Petersburg to northeastern Germany.
https://bnn-news.com/russia-has-halted-gas-supplies-to-europe-237901 Russia cut off gas supplies to Europe – Baltic News Network