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Russia’s Gazprom to Tighten Squeeze on Gas Flow to Europe

Russia’s Gazprom to Tighten Squeeze on Gas Flow to Europe
folder_openRussia access_time2 months ago
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By Staff, Agencies 

Russian energy giant Gazprom announced it plans to reduce gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany to just 20% capacity later this week, as Moscow tightens its squeeze on Europe amid the war in Ukraine.

Gazprom said on Monday that flows would fall to 33 million cubic meters per day – half the current, already reduced level – from 04:00 GMT on Wednesday because it needed to halt the operation of a Siemens Energy gas turbine on instructions from an industry watchdog.

But Germany said it saw no technical reason for the latest reduction, which comes as Russia and Western nations exchange economic blows in response to the Russian military’s ongoing offensive in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin “is playing a perfidious game”, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck told the DPA news agency. “He is trying to weaken the great support for Ukraine and drive a wedge into our society. To do this, he stirs up uncertainty and drives up prices. We are countering this with unity and concentrated action.”

The Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which has a capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year, is the single largest Russian gas link to Europe.

The European Union, which has sought to reduce its energy dependence on Russia, has repeatedly accused Moscow of resorting to energy blackmail, while the Kremlin says the shortfalls have been caused by maintenance issues and the effect of Western sanctions.