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Pipe systems and shut-off devices at the gas receiving station of the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline and the transfer station of the OPAL long-distance gas pipeline DPA/PA Images

Gazprom drastically cuts gas deliveries to Europe via Nord Stream pipeline

Meanwhile, President Zelenskyy said he hopes the UK’s Boris Johnson will not ‘disappear’ from politics.

LAST UPDATE | 27 Jul 2022

RUSSIAN ENERGY GIANT Gazprom drastically cut gas deliveries to Europe via the Nord Stream pipeline today to about 20%of its capacity, German authorities said.

The Russian state-run company had announced on Monday that it would choke supply to 33 million cubic metres a day, half the amount it has been delivering since service resumed last week after 10 days of maintenance work.

EU states have accused Russia of squeezing supplies in retaliation for Western sanctions over Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian troops have continued to resist invading forces and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he hopes the UK’s Boris Johnson will not ‘disappear’ from politics.

Gas deliveries

Gazprom cited the halted operation of one of the last two operating turbines for the pipeline due to the “technical condition of the engine”.

The German economy ministry dismissed the explanation, saying there was “no technical reason for a reduction of deliveries”. Government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann spoke on Wednesday of a “power play” by Moscow.

Klaus Mueller, head of Germany’s energy regulator, said gas flows had dropped to 20 percent of the pipeline’s capacity on Wednesday from 40 percent.

“We’ll see today if it stays that way,” he said in a statement.

In parallel, Italian energy major Eni said Gazprom had informed the group it would only deliver “approximately 27 million cubic metres” on Wednesday, down from around 34 million cubic metres in recent days.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov blamed EU sanctions for the limited supply.

“Technical pumping capacities are down, more restricted. Why? Because the process of maintaining technical devices is made extremely difficult by the sanctions adopted by Europe,” Peskov said.

“Gazprom was and remains a reliable guarantor of its obligations… but it can’t guarantee the pumping of gas if the imported devices cannot be maintained because of European sanctions

Zelenskyy and Johnson

Zelenskyy has said he does not want Boris Johnson to “disappear” after he stands down as prime minister.

The Ukrainian President noted he has “no right” to interfere in the UK’s domestic affairs but said he would like Johnson to “be somewhere in politics in a position to be someone”.

Zelenskyy made his remarks during an interview on Piers Morgan Uncensored, where he appeared alongside his wife, First Lady Olena Zelenska.

“I don’t want him to disappear, but the decision is in the hands of the British people. But I am sure that whatever position he is going to take, he is always going to be with Ukraine. This is from the heart.”

Zelenskyy was also asked about Tory leadership hopefuls Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss and what message he would like to send them.

He said: “What can I say? I would be happy to cooperate very closely like we used to have with Boris. The same close relationship with the UK and Ukraine.

“I know those two candidates are very respectful, and they have the support of the people and the society from the UK.

“We know about this support. We know about the positive strength of those leaders. We would be happy to cooperate with whoever is elected as leader.

“I used to have contact with Liz Truss. Whoever is the leader, the highest level of support will be provided from the Ukraine.”


Ukrainian troops have struck a strategic bridge essential for Moscow to supply its forces occupying the country’s south as Russia pounded several areas in Ukraine with rocket and artillery strikes.

The Ukrainian military struck the Antonivskyi Bridge across the Dnieper River late on Tuesday, the deputy head of the Moscow-appointed administration for the Kherson region, Kirill Stremousov, said.

He said the bridge was still standing but its deck was pierced with holes, stopping vehicles from crossing.

The near-one-mile bridge sustained serious damage in Ukrainian shelling last week, when it took multiple hits.

It was closed for trucks but had remained open for passenger vehicles until the strike late yesterday.

Ukrainian forces used the US-supplied Himars multiple rocket launchers to hit the bridge, Stremousov said.

The bridge is the main crossing across the Dnieper River in the Kherson region.

The only other option is a dam at the hydroelectric plant in Kakhovka, which also came under Ukrainian fire last week but has remained open for traffic.

Knocking the crossings out would make it hard for the Russian military to keep supplying its forces in the region amid repeated Ukrainian attacks.

Early in the war, Russian troops quickly overran the Kherson region just north of the Crimean Peninsula that Russia annexed in 2014.

They have faced Ukrainian counter-attacks, but have largely held their ground.

The Ukrainian attacks on the bridge in Kherson come as the bulk of the Russian forces are fighting in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland of Donbas, where they have made slow gains in the face of ferocious Ukrainian resistance.

Supplies of US weapons such as Himars have helped slow the Russian advances.

Zelenskyy claimed that Russian military losses have climbed to nearly 40,000, adding that tens of thousands more were wounded and maimed. His claim could not be independently verified.

The Russian military last reported its losses in March, when it said that 1,351 troops were killed in action and 3,825 were wounded.

Russian forces kept up their artillery barrage in the eastern Donetsk region, targeting towns and villages, according to regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.

In Bakhmut, a key city on the front line of the Russian offensive, the shelling damaged a hotel and caused casualties, Kyrylenko said. A rescue operation was under way.

Amid Moscow’s push to take full control of the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Russian have gained marginal ground northeast of Bakhmut, according to the Washington DC-based think tank the Institute for the Study of War.

Russian forces, however, are unlikely to occupy significant additional territory in Ukraine “before the early autumn,” the institute added.

Additional reporting by AFP

Press Association
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