Germans were urged to conserve energy following Russia’s Gazprom’s announcement of significant cuts in natural gas supplies via key pipeline.
Gazprom, a state-owned company, announced a reduction of 40% in gas flows to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
The cut was raised to 60% on Wednesday.
Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson for the Kremlin, said that reductions in supply are not premeditated but were due to maintenance issues.
Gazprom claimed that it was unable to return equipment to Canada due to sanctions imposed by Canada over the war in Ukraine.
According to Russia’s Ambassador to the EU, more delays could cause the pipeline to be completely shut down.
Alexei Miller, Gazprom’s chief executive, stated that he couldn’t see a solution to the equipment issue at the Portovaya compressor stations. This station is part of the pipeline.
Germany claimed that maintenance shouldn’t have been a problem up until the autumn and called Russia’s excuse “unfounded”.
Putin is doing what was feared
Russia was accused of trying to increase gas prices and create uncertainty.
The European benchmark for wholesale gas prices in the Netherlands, the Dutch, rose by around 30% on Thursday afternoon as a result of the news.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is “doing what was to be feared right from the beginning: He is reducing gas volume, not in one move but step by step,” German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck stated.
He cited earlier Russian decisions to reduce supplies to Bulgaria, Denmark, and other.
After Gazprom’s announcements, Mr Habeck had already launched an energy-saving campaign.
He stated that “Gas is coming into Europe – there’s no shortage of supply, but we must get the gas volumes on the market. It will get more costly.”
He said that the government had implemented a law that requires gas storage to be filled, and is currently preparing it.
He praised Germans for saving energy and applauded them.
He said, “Now is the right time to do it.” “Every kilowatthour helps in this situation. This is a serious situation, but it is not one that threatens Germany’s supply security.
Germany is not the only country facing falling Russian supplies.
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OMV Austria said Gazprom had notified it about reduced deliveries. Engie France said flows were down, but clients weren’t affected.
Eni of Italy said that it would only receive 65% of the volumes it requested due to Portovaya issues.
According to the Italian government, contingency plans have been prepared in case of gas supply disruptions in the coming days.