Germany accuses Moscow of engaging in what it calls a ‘power game’ after Russian state-owned Gazprom halved the amount of natural gas flowing through a major gas pipeline linking Russia to the United States. Europe, at 20% of its capacity.
This is the latest Nord Stream 1 reduction that Russia has blamed on technical issues including the repair of a turbine, but Germany says it was a political decision, creating uncertainty and drives up prices even more.
“The turbine is there. It has been overhauled,” said Christiane Hoffman, spokeswoman for the German government. “Our Canadian partners have accepted the delivery. We are very grateful for this. So, from our point of view, nothing stands in the way of transporting the turbine to Russia.”
“What we see here is actually a power play and we won’t let that fool us.”
The European Union has prepared for such cuts from Russia, drawing up contingency plans – 12 EU countries are subject to partial or complete Russian gas cuts, and governments fear that the Kremlin only retaliated further in response to the sanctions by shutting down the supply altogether.
On Tuesday, the EU agreed on a plan to cut gas consumption by 15% this winter to break its dependence on Russia.