Russia closes Europe’s main gas pipeline until Western sanctions are lifted

The decision follows the alleged closure of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline for “maintenance“, but subsequent Interfax reports five days later indicate that Moscow will not return the gas to service until its demands are met.

Putin’s spokesman says the Nord Stream 1 pumping problem is due to the West’s collective sanctions.

While it has been said that Russia’s state-owned Gazprom was encountering “technical difficulties” with the pipeline connecting Russian gas to Germany, and that the pipeline was in “maintenance“, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov says the closure is due to Western sanctions against Moscow. Gazprom reported last weekend that the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would be closed indefinitely due to “oil leaks“.

Gazprom claims that the technical difficulties stem from the German-made turbines. However, quoted by the Interfax news agency, Peskov made it clear that the Kremlin wants the sanctions lifted before the Nord Stream 1 pipeline can start delivering fuel again.

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The problems of gas pumping appeared because of the sanctions introduced by the Western countries against our country and several companies“, stressed Peskov. “There are no other reasons that could have caused this pumping problem“, added Putin’s spokesman. Peskov added:

Other reasons that could cause pumping problems do not exist – It is these sanctions imposed by Western states that have brought the situation to what we see now.

EU accuses Russia of “weaponizing” its energy supplies, Iran offers Europe cheap gas in exchange for lifting sanctions and nuclear deal.

Following Peskov’s statements over the weekend, gas futures markets in Europe surged during Monday’s trading sessions. The maximum tension materialized on September 5, as Reuters reported that “gas prices in Europe rose 30% on Monday after Russia said one of its main supply pipelines to Europe would remain shut indefinitely“. While the Kremlin believes that the “Western collective” is responsible for these disturbances, Reuters reports that Europe “accused Russia of weaponizing energy supplies.”

The news also follows the decision by Russian gas giant Gazprom that its gas deliveries to French industrial energy group Engie would cease. In the meantime, the EU thinks it can endure a winter without Russian gas, while others think it could be a very harsh winter for Europeans. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently said the EU could face an energy crisis in the coming months, and he said Europeans should expect a difficult winter.

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