Russian gas link to Europe enters planned shutdown

TEHRAN, Jul. 11 (MNA) – The largest single pipeline carrying Russian gas to Germany began annual maintenance on Monday, with flows expected to stop for ten days, but governments and companies are concerned that the stop may be extended.

The Nord Stream 1 pipeline transports 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Russia to Germany along the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Maintenance will last from 11 to 21 July, Reuters reported.

Last month, Russia cut flows to 40% of the pipeline’s total capacity, citing a delay in the return of equipment maintained by Germany’s Siemens Energy (ENR1n.DE) in Canada. 

Over the weekend, Canada said it would return the repaired turbine, but also said it would expand sanctions against Russia’s energy sector. 

Europe fears that Russia could extend scheduled maintenance to further restrict gas supplies to Europe, exacerbating a gas crisis that has triggered emergency government action and painfully high consumer bills.

German Economics Minister Robert Habeck said the country must confront the possibility of Russia suspending Nord Stream 1 gas supplies after a scheduled maintenance period.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed claims that Russia was using oil and gas to exert political pressure, saying the maintenance closure was a regularly scheduled event and that no one had “invented” any repairs. 

Russia completely cut off gas supplies to a number of European countries that did not comply with its demand for payment in rubles.

RHM/PR

News Code 188946

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