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Putin threatens to cut gas supply via Nord Stream 1

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Status: 07/20/2022 07:58

Russian President Putin has threatened to cut off Russian natural gas supplies. Nord Stream 1 could only pump about 33 million cubic meters of gas per day. The West is responsible.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned of a further cut in Russian gas supply through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. If Russia does not collect the repaired turbine in Canada, the pipeline’s daily throughput capacity threatens to drop significantly in late July, the Kremlin chief said on the sidelines of a meeting in Tehran, according to Russian state news agency TASS. . This would reduce the daily delivery capacity to around one-fifth of the original quantity.

At the same time, Putin suggested that the recently completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline could be put into operation. “We still have a finished route – it’s Nord Stream 2. We can put it into operation,” Putin said. However, only half of the volume initially planned would then be delivered via this Baltic Sea gas pipeline, since Russia needs the rest for its internal needs, according to the boss of the Kremlin.

Putin: Gazprom “fulfills all its obligations”

The Nord Stream 1 pipeline was commissioned in 2011 and has a capacity of approximately 55 billion cubic meters per year. Since June, Russia’s state-owned energy company Gazprom has cut gas deliveries to Germany by more than half the daily maximum – to 67 million cubic meters. The pipeline is also currently completely closed for annual maintenance work – until Thursday as scheduled.

Putin denied any responsibility for the cut in natural gas supplies, saying it was the West’s fault. Gazprom has “fulfilled all its obligations” and will continue to do so in the future.

However, the group reduced its natural gas deliveries via Nord Stream 1 to Germany by 60% in June. Gazprom reported technical problems after the turbine sent to Canada for maintenance was held up due to Western sanctions against Russia. If Russia does not retrieve the repaired turbine, the pipeline’s daily throughput capacity could drop further to 33 million cubic meters by the end of July due to the necessary repair of another unit, Putin said.

West views the throttling as politically motivated

Critics had previously used the pretext of basing the throttling of natural gas deliveries on the missing turbine. More recently, at the request of the federal government, the Canadian government decided to hand over the Siemens Energy turbine to Germany, so that it could be reinstalled. According to the Economic Affairs Ministry’s dpa news agency, this should give Russia an excuse to permanently cut off the gas supply or continue cutting it off.

According to the German government, the delivery of the device is also exempt from EU sanctions against Russia as these do not target gas transit. Germany and heads of state and government of other EU countries see the cuts as politically motivated. However, it was said from Moscow that neither the machine nor the associated documents had arrived.

Does Putin want to force the launch of Nord Stream 2?

Putin’s statements also suggest that even after maintenance work is completed and even if the turbine is installed, the pipeline may not be brought back to full capacity. It is conceivable that the Russian government wants to force the commissioning of Nord Stream 2.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline was completed in 2021, but certification documents are still missing. The authorization process for the line was suspended by Germany after the Russian attack on Ukraine.

Putin warns against Russian oil sanctions

Putin also warned the West not to target Russian oil as part of sanctions against his country. Plans to cap Russian oil prices would destabilize the global oil market and cause prices to skyrocket. “We hear crazy ideas about capping the volume of Russian oil and capping the price of Russian oil,” Putin told Russian reporters. “The result will be the same: an increase in prices.”

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the EU has agreed to ban imports of coal and oil from Russia which will be imposed later this year. However, natural gas is excluded, especially since EU countries like Germany are urgently dependent on supplies for power supply and heating of buildings, apartments and houses. In Brussels, there are now fears that Russia will completely cut off the gas supply, in order to plunge EU countries into economic and political chaos next winter.

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Source www.tagesschau.de

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