Gas blackmail: Putin threatens to cut gas supplies through Nord Stream 1 to 20%

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Gas blackmail: Putin threatens to cut gas supplies via Nord Stream 1 to 20%

The Russian President assures that Gazprom is ready to pump as much gas as needed. But until the dispute over sanctions on pipeline components is resolved, flows will be severely limited.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signaled that Europe will once again start receiving gas through the key Nord Stream 1 (NS-1) pipeline, but the gas pipeline will only operate at 20% capacity. Bloomberg writes about Moscow's new retaliatory sanctions measures.

Today, Europe is waiting for the resumption of work on NSP-1, but Moscow has warned European partners that until the dispute over sanctions components is resolved, flows will be severely limited. In other words, if one of the Siemens gas turbines is not replaced by a turbine repaired in Canada after its service life is exhausted, gas pumping through SP-1 will be reduced to 33 million cubic meters per day.

Commenting on the Kremlin's position, Bluebay Asset Management Leading Expert Tim Ash noted that Russia is cutting gas supplies for geopolitical reasons.

“It is clear that Moscow is cutting supplies for geopolitical reasons – it wants to create a European gas crisis this winter to bring Europe to its knees to the point where it stops supporting Ukraine,” said Tim Ash, senior strategist at Bluebay Asset Management.

Gas blackmail: Putin threatens to cut gas supplies via Nord Stream 1 to 20%

The publication writes that at the moment gas is not supplied through the largest gas pipeline to Europe due to repair work, while European countries are trying to replenish stocks before the onset of winter. Prior to the start of repair work, SP-1 pumped gas from about 40% of its capacity. This is due to the fact that two out of five Siemens turbines were operating, which made it possible to pump up to 60 million cubic meters of fuel per day.

However, approximately on July 26, Gazprom will begin repair work on the second unit at the Portovaya compressor station, and if the turbine does not return from Canada before that time, gas pumping will be reduced to 33 million cubic meters. In addition, Moscow also limited supplies via other routes – through Ukraine, which it blamed on Western politicians.

“We closed one route, the second route, put these gas pumping units under sanctions. Gazprom is ready to pump as much as necessary. Our partners are trying to shift their own mistakes onto Gazprom – this has no basis,” Putin said.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on July 8 that Russia plans to resume and may even increase supplies natural gas through the Nord Stream 1 Baltic gas pipeline after the gas turbine returns from Canada after repairs.

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