Russian energy giant Gazprom halts Nord Stream 1 gas supplies for maintenance

Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, energy giant Gazprom suspended gas supplies through Nord Stream to Europe on Wednesday (August 31), citing maintenance work. This comes as the conflict in Ukraine raises fears for energy supplies to the European countries. 

The energy giant has said that the supply has been suspended of a single pumping unit at the Portovaya compressor station. 

The company said in a brief statement, “Supplies via Nord Stream completely stopped as preventative work begins today at a gas compressor unit.” 

Gazprom suspended gas deliveries to Germany, which is heavily dependent on Russian gas. Meanwhile, the country has accused Russia of using energy as a “weapon”. 

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A day before the planned shutdown, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that nothing stands in the way of Russian gas exports to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline apart from technological problems caused by Western sanctions.

On being asked about the guarantees of restoration, Peskov said, “There are guarantees that, apart from technological problems caused by sanctions, nothing hinders the supplies.” 

Peskov told reporters, “European countries, Canada, the USA, Great Britain imposed sanctions against the Russian Federation, which do not allow carrying out normal maintenance and repair work, and also do not allow legal registration of the return of components and assemblies to their places of operation.” 

Peskov added: “There are no other obstacles for Russia to fulfil its obligations.” 

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While reacting to that, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of economic terrorism as the cost of Europe’s energy crisis spiralled. 

Zelensky said, “Russia uses economic terror, pressures with price crises and poverty to weaken Europe just when it needs its full strength to defend against the terror at war that Russia has been conducting for over six months — a full-scale war, and in total its interference to us (is continuing) for eight years now.” 

“This is exactly what the Russian state, its officials and companies, such as Gazprom, are working for now — to create crises and to turn crises into disasters,” he added. 

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