Moscow (The Times Groupe)- The Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Wednesday it would further reduce gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to 67 million cubic meters (2,366 million cubic feet) per day. germany
Gazprom said the halt would take effect at 01:30 a.m Moscow time on Thursday (2230 UTC on Wednesday) due to a “technical problem” at a compression station.
— Gazprom (@GazpromEN) June 15, 2022
Tuesday, the company announced that it would cut supplies through the same undersea pipeline from 167 to up to 100 million cubic meters per day.
As a result of the delayed delivery of equipment to German company Siemens for repairs, Gazprom initially blamed this delay on the company.
Earlier this week, Siemens Energy said the delay in returning the equipment to Gazprom was due to the fact they were taken to Canada for a scheduled overhaul and have not been returned due to Ottawa’s sanctions against Russia.
Robert Habeck, Germany’s economy minister and Vice-Chancellor, said the move was intended to drive up prices.
“It is obviously a strategy to unsettle and drive up prices,” he said on Wednesday, adding, “We can currently buy the necessary quantities from the market, albeit at higher prices.”
Germany’s gas supplies are secure, according to the Greens politician. Nevertheless, he added, “the current situation also shows the need to conserve energy.”
Habeck said earlier on Wednesday the decision was clearly “politically motivated” rather than a result of technical difficulties.
Despite the war in Ukraine, the EU has been trying to reduce its dependence on Russian energy.
Despite a decline in demand for gas with the end of winter, Europe is racing to prepare for the next winter as prices soar and uncertainty grows.
Nord Stream 1 is the older of the two gas pipelines running from Russia to Germany. It is the main pipeline for Russian gas to Europe, especially since the Ukrainian transit of Russian gas has been reduced since the war.
In response to Russian aggression toward Ukraine, Germany has halted the launch of the newer pipeline, Nord Stream 2.
Over the past few weeks, Russia has cut off its gas deliveries to a number of European countries over a currency dispute. Russia wanted its “unfriendly countries” to pay in rubles, but European countries refused and imposed sanctions on Russia because of its war in Ukraine.