Russian gas starts flowing again in Nord Stream pipeline – POLITICO


The Nord Stream gas pipeline between Russia and the EU has reopened, but it will take hours before supplies reach expected levels.

A Nord Stream spokesperson told POLITICO that maintenance work ended as scheduled at 6 a.m. Thursday morning and Russian gas deliveries resumed. “We are in the process of resuming the transport of gas,” added the spokesman. “It may take a few hours to reach the designated transport volumes.”

News of the resumption of gas supplies via the Russia-Germany link will bring some relief to European governments, which feared Moscow would not turn on the flow again after its planned maintenance shutdown earlier this month.

State-backed Russian exporter Gazprom has already halted or reduced deliveries to 12 EU countries, and the fear is that President Vladimir Putin will permanently cut gas in retaliation for sanctions imposed over his invasion of the EU. ‘Ukraine.

On Tuesday, Putin told reporters that gas flows would resume at around 40% of their capacity – 60 million cubic meters per day (mcm/d) – if a turbine that had been down for maintenance was returned on time.

“Otherwise,” Putin added, Nord Stream could send “only 30 million cubic meters per day.” This equates to less than 18% capacity.

“Russia is blackmailing us, Russia is using energy as a weapon,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned in Brussels on Wednesday. “If we look back, we see that months before war broke out, Russia intentionally kept the gas supply as low as possible … thereby reducing supply, tightening the market and driving up prices. .”

Jules Darmanin contributed reporting.

This article is part of POLITICO Pro

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