Germany alarmed by reduction of Nord Stream 1 gas flow to 20% of capacity

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Monday that “Russia is breaking contracts and blaming others,” while “Putin is playing a deceitful game,” on the sidelines of Gazprom’s halving of the current gas supply through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

The Russian gas company has reported that, as of Wednesday, it will halve the current supply through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline by alluding to the overhaul of a new turbine, as already happened weeks ago.

The pipeline currently operates at 40 percent of its capacity, whereupon from Wednesday it will be reduced to 20 percent, which means about 33 million cubic meters of gas per day.

For its part, Berlin argues that the cuts are simply punishment by Russia for the sanctions.

“It tries to weaken the great support for Ukraine and drive a wedge in our society. To do this, it stirs up uncertainty and drives up prices. We are countering this with unity and focused action. We are taking precautions to get through the winter,” Habeck has lamented.

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The European Union as a whole — and Germany in particular — are heavily dependent on Russian gas. And while they are moving quickly to find alternatives, energy remains an area of vulnerability.

Habeck has assured that Germany is working to reduce gas consumption, in subsequent statements to broadcaster ARD.

“We are in a serious situation and it is time for everyone to understand that,” he said.

Thus, he has stressed that Germany must stand united and implement measures to reduce gas consumption.

“Yes, Putin has the gas, but we have the power,” he has stressed.

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Gas supplies from the Netherlands and Norway will continue to reach Germany, Habeck has pointed out, adding that possible scenarios for the winter depend on how much gas the Germans could save.

He has also stressed that in case of severe shortages, supplies to industry would be reduced before those to households or protected infrastructure such as hospitals.

Moscow’s announcement triggered a sharp rise in the price of natural gas in Germany, with a futures contract seen as a barometer rising to 175 euros ($178) per megawatt hour on the Dutch energy exchange, up 7.7 percent from Friday.


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