Russian energy firm Gazprom said it will have to further reduce gas flow through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline this week due to repairs, coming as European Union officials called on member states to curb gas usage by next year.
Gazprom, a state-run entity, resumed gas shipments via Nord Stream 1 on July 21 after it was closed down for 10 days. The line links Russian natural gas to Europe through Germany.
“Due to the expiration of prescribed time before overhaul (in line with the Rostekhnadzor notification and taking into account the technical condition of the relevant machine), Gazprom is shutting down one more gas turbine produced by Siemens at the Portovaya [compressor station],” the Russian company said Monday.
Gazprom added that flows would fall to 33 million cubic meters per day from 0400 GMT on Wednesday because it needed to halt the operation of a Siemens gas turbine at a compressor station on instructions from an industry watchdog.
A spokesperson for Germany’s Ministry for Economic Affairs told the AFP news agency on Monday that there is “no technical reason” for the gas delivery cut.
The European Union has repeatedly accused Russia of resorting to energy blackmail, while the Kremlin says the disruption has been caused by maintenance issues and the effect of Western sanctions.
Politicians in Europe have said Russia could cut off gas flows this winter, which would thrust Germany into recession and lead to soaring prices for consumers already grappling with higher prices for food and energy. But the Kremlin said earlier that Moscow was not interested in a complete stoppage of Russian gas supplies to Europe, which is rushing to fill its underground storage before the peak demand winter season.
‘Responsible Gas Supplier’
Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s chief spokesman, dismissed claims Monday that Gazprom or Russia is meddling with natural gas to gain an advantage. He made his comment before Gazprom’s announcement, according to TASS.
“Russia is a responsible gas supplier,” Peskov said, “and regardless of what anyone says in the European Commission, in European capitals, in the United States, Russia was, is, and will continue to be the country that largely guarantees Europe’s energy security.”
But he added that “if Europe continues on its path of totally reckless imposition of restrictions and sanctions that hit it, then the situation will be different.”
“But Russia is not interested in this,” Peskov said.
Amid the Nord Stream supply issues, the European Union’s top leadership last week outlined a proposal to cut gas demand by 15 percent by the end of March 2023. The program would involve voluntary reductions to start, although a number of EU member states have pushed back on the suggestion.
It comes as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told German newswire service DPA that EU nations need to demonstrate solidarity during the winter months.
“Even member states that hardly purchase any Russian gas cannot escape the effects of a potential supply stop on our internal market,” she said Monday. “That is why it is important that all member states curb demand, that all store more and share with those members that are more affected,” the EU official added.
Reuters contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times