Germany alarmed as Russia reduces Nord Stream gas flows to 20%
Moscow/Berlin, Jul 27 (EFE).- Russian energy giant Gazprom on Wednesday cut gas flows to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to 20% of capacity, raising fears of a complete stoppage ahead of the winter season.
The state company linked the reduction that began at 9.00 am (6.00 GMT) to alleged technical problems, dropping the daily gas deliveries to 33 million cubic meters.
Meanwhile, Klaus Muller, chief of Germany’s Federal Network Agency Bundesnetzagentur, said that Gazprom’s move was a “war strategy” and had no technical reasons behind it.
The explanations Moscow gave to justify the reductions “are not realistic,” Muller told Deutschlandfunk public radio.
In mid-June, Gazprom cut its daily gas supplies from 167 to 67 million cubic meters, also citing maintenance work.
The Russian gas company then completely halted the Nord Stream gas pipeline for 10 days for “maintenance work,” before putting it back into operation on July 21 at 40% of capacity.
On Monday, the Kremlin said that Russia “is not interested” in stopping gas supplies to Europe.
“Russia has been and continues to be a country that largely guarantees Europe’s energy security,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
However, “if Europe continues on its path of totally reckless imposition of restrictions and sanctions that hit it, then the situation will be different,” he stressed.
The disruptions come amid Moscow’s war in Ukraine and the Western sanctions imposed in response.EFE