Russia to halt gas flows to Germany, raising fears of complete cutoff
Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom said Friday that it would halt gas deliveries via its Nord Stream 1 pipeline for a three-day maintenance period beginning this month, a surprise move that will intensify European Union leaders’ efforts to secure alternative supplies out of fear of a complete cutoff.
Gazprom said in a statement Friday that it plans to shut down the pipeline from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 for maintenance on its gas compressor unit. It said it planned to restore flows to the current rate of 33 million cubic meters per day (or 20% of the pipeline’s total capacity) if the repairs are successful.
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Russia has spent the summer steadily tapering off its gas deliveries via Nord Stream 1, the key pipeline linking Russia to Germany.
In July, it cut supplies to just 20% capacity, citing the repairs it needed for a 29-foot turbine piece, which was later revealed to be a spare.
EU leaders and industry officials have accused Moscow of using maintenance as a pretext to halt deliveries to the bloc completely.
Earlier this summer, German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck accused Russia of “weaponizing” its energy supplies in an effort to weaken the EU.
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“Russia is blackmailing us,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said recently.