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Russia's Gazprom to cut gas deliveries to Germany drastically from Wednesday

The gas giant said it was cutting daily deliveries via the Nord Stream pipeline due to technical issues.

A Gazprom drilling rig in Russia
A Gazprom drilling rig in Russia
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

RUSSIAN GAS GIANT Gazprom has said it is cutting daily deliveries via the Nord Stream pipeline to 33 million cubic metres a day – about 20 percent of the pipeline’s capacity – from Wednesday.

The company said in a statement that it was halting the operation of one of the last two operating turbines due to the “technical condition of the engine”.

The supplies from the Portovaya compressor station will be slashed from 7am Moscow time Wednesday, the company said.

The announcement came after Russia last week restored critical gas supplies to Europe through Germany via Nord Stream after 10 days of maintenance, but only at 40 percent of the pipeline’s capacity.

Germany, which is heavily dependent on Russian gas, has accused Moscow of using energy as a “weapon”.

The German government said there was no technical justification for Gazprom’s announcement.

“According to the information we have there is no technical reason for a reduction of deliveries,” a German economy ministry spokeswoman told AFP.

Gazprom cut flows to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline under the Baltic Sea in recent weeks, blaming the absence of a Siemens gas turbine that was undergoing repairs in Canada.

Earlier today, Gazprom said it had received paperwork related to the delayed delivery of the turbine but pointed out a number of issues including those relating to EU and UK sanctions remained.

The showdown comes amid raging tensions over Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. EU states have accused Russia of squeezing supplies in retaliation for Western sanctions over the offensive.

Enduring German reliance on Russian gas coupled with alarming signals from Moscow have turned up the pressure on Europe’s top economy.

A total shutdown of imports or a sharp reduction in the flow from east to west could have a catastrophic effect, shutting factories and forcing households to turn down the heat.

© AFP 2022

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