Germany slams Russia for ‘political’ gas cut – RT Business News

Russia’s Gazprom cut off its flow through the Nord Stream gas pipeline, citing technical problems caused by Western sanctions

Berlin has condemned Russian energy giant Gazprom’s decision to cut off its gas flow through the Nord Stream pipeline due to technical difficulties, with the country’s economy minister Robert Habeck saying the move was politically motivated.

“I feel like what happened yesterday was a political decision and not a technically justifiable decision,” he added. Habeck told reporters on Wednesday.

Gazprom said it would reduce gas supply capacity through the Nord Stream pipeline from 67 million cubic meters per day to some 100 million cubic meters. The company said it had to halt operations of another Siemens pumping unit on the pipeline, blaming the technical problems on Western sanctions. Namely, gas pumping units repaired for the North Stream pipeline cannot be returned from a plant in Canada due to the country’s sanctions against Russia.

“Due to the expiry of the period before the overhaul (in accordance with the instructions of Rostekhnadzor and taking into account the technical condition of the unit), Gazprom stops the operation of another Siemens gas pumping unit at the station of Portovaya compression”, the company said.

Habeck disputed this assessment, however, expressing doubts that stopping a single unit could in fact affect around 40% of the flow. The Minister also stated that the maintenance work on the pipeline which would have had a “pertinent” effect on the stream was only to be carried out by Siemens in the fall of this year.

Habeck also stressed that these maintenance works are not subject to sanctions against Russia, revealing that he personally consulted the European Commission on this matter. Berlin is also in talks with Ottawa to determine whether or not blocked pumping units in Canada are included in the sanctions, Habeck said.

The Nord Stream, which flows under the Baltic Sea, connects the Portovaya compressor station in Russia to its counterpart in Greifswald in northeast Germany. The European market receives some 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year through the pipeline.

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