The Russian gas company Gazprom has reduced gas supplies to Germany via the Nordstream 1 pipeline to 20 percent. The reason is the repair of another turbine. This follows a ten-day routine maintenance on a first turbine during which gas supplies were stopped. Russia had previously announced that gas supplies would resume, but at the greatly reduced level of around 40 percent of capacity, which also applied before the maintenance.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week there could be a further cut in gas supplies from 40 to 20 percent around July 26 if the required turbine is not obtained in time due to sanctions. Gazprom has announced that another turbine had to be taken out of service for maintenance. The company said gas supplies would thus be reduced to 33 million cubic meters per day, which would correspond to 20 percent. At full capacity, the Nordstream 1 pipeline delivers around 160 million cubic meters.
German Minister of Economy, Robert Habeck, has called the reduction in gas supplies a political manoeuvre by Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told the press that the nation’s industry giant Gazprom is ready to increase deliveries of natural gas as much as needed and that the Kremlin-backed company is not to blame for the energy crisis.
At a press conference during his recent visit to Iran, Vladimir Putin explained the reasons for the gas crisis in Europe. He said it was due to the “energy policies of European countries” which have overhyped the viability of “non-traditional energies”.
“I’ve talked about this many times, I don’t know if it’s worth dwelling on the energy policies of European countries, which have neglected the importance of traditional energy sources and have opted for non-traditional energies. They are great specialists in non-traditional relationships and have therefore decided to bet on non-traditional energies also in the energy sector: solar and wind energy. The winter was long, there was no wind – that’s all. This is the result of the policies of the last many years, probably the last decade. , and the prices went down.”
Regarding the supply cuts through the Nordstream 1 Pipeline, Putin said the Europeans were looking for “someone to blame”, and the supplies would resume once the second turbine is repaired:
“Now two machines are in operation, pumping 60 million cubic meters per day. If another device comes, that’s good, then two devices will work. And if one doesn’t come, there will only be one, then it’s only 30 million cubic meters per day. You can calculate how many cubic meters can be pumped.
What does Gazprom have to do with it? The Europeans closed one route and sanctioned these gas pumping stations on the second route. Gazprom is ready to pump as much as is needed. You closed everything yourself. Gazprom has fully fulfilled its obligations, is fulfilling them and will continue to fulfill them if you want it to.
If they close everything with their own hands and then look for someone to blame, that would just be funny if it weren’t so sad .”
When Gazprom announced that gas supplies would be reduced to 20 percent due to repair work on a second turbine, the German federal government reacted with incomprehension.
”According to our information, there is no technical reason for a reduction in deliveries,” said a spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Economics.
EU sanctions on Russian gas and oil have created an energy crisis in Europe. In anticipation of further gas shortages, the European Union has decided to reduce gas consumption by 15% until the end of March 2023.
At the same time, Europe has refused to approve the launch of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is ready for use. The United States has lobbied Germany to suspend the Nordstream 2 pipeline.