Russia has seemingly drawn a line in the sand and will not turn on Europe’s main gas pipeline until the “collective West” lifts the financial sanctions against the country. The move follows the Nord Stream 1 pipeline allegedly shutting down for “maintenance,” but reports from Interfax that followed five days later indicate Moscow will not be turning the gas back on until demands are met.
Putin’s Spokesperson Says Nord Stream 1 Pumping Problem Due to the Collective West’s Sanctions
While it was said Russia’s state-run Gazprom was having “technical difficulties” with the gas pipeline that connects Russian gas to Germany, and that the pipeline was under “maintenance,” president Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, claims the shutdown is due to Western sanctions against Moscow. Gazprom reported this past weekend that Nord Stream 1 pipeline would be shut down indefinitely because of “oil leaks.”
BREAKING: Gazprom announces that Nord Stream cannot operate safely due to turbine damage
— Samuel Ramani (@SamRamani2) September 2, 2022
Gazprom claims the technical difficulties stem from the German-made turbines. However, Peskov was quoted by the news agency Interfax, and he made it quite clear that the Kremlin wants the sanctions lifted before the Nord Stream 1 pipeline delivers fuel again.
“The problems pumping gas came about because of the sanctions Western countries introduced against our country and several companies,” Peskov stressed. “There are no other reasons that could have caused this pumping problem,” Putin’s spokesman remarked. Peskov added:
Other reasons that would cause problems with the pumping don’t exist — It is these sanctions imposed by the Western states that have brought the situation to what we see now.
EU Accuses Russia of ‘Weaponizing’ Energy Supplies, Iran Offers Europe Cheap Gas in Exchange for Sanction Lifts and Nuclear Deal
Following Peskov’s statements, during the weekend, Europe’s gas futures markets had shown significant pain was due during Monday’s trading sessions. The max pain came to fruition on September 5, as Reuters reported that “European gas prices rocketed as much as 30% higher on Monday after Russia said one of its main gas supply pipelines to Europe would stay shut indefinitely.” While the Kremlin believes the “collective West” is at fault for the disturbances, Reuters reported that Europe “has accused Russia of weaponising energy supplies.”
Morning! Europe’s “worst case scenario” is starting to materialize.
European mkts poised to plunge as investors react to Gazprom’s announcement Friday that NS1 pipeline will be closed indefinitely, hours after G7 agreed price cap on Russian oil to reduce revenues to the country.
— Julianna Tatelbaum (@CNBCJulianna) September 5, 2022
The news also follows the Russian gas giant Gazprom telling the public that gas supplies funneled to the French industrial energy group Engie would stop. Meanwhile, the EU believes it can endure a winter without Russian gas, while others believe the winter could be very harsh for Europeans. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently said the EU may deal with an energy crisis in the coming months, and he told Europeans to expect a difficult winter.
In addition to Russia, Iran is tempting Europe with cheap Iranian gas exports for a nuclear deal. Reports show that Tehran “teased” Europe with cheap gas and the country’s leaders want financial sanctions lifted as well. While Nord Stream 1 is the largest pipeline for gas from Russia to Europe consisting of 100,000 pipes, Iran holds the world’s second-largest gas reserves, in terms of natural gas supplies. Iran’s state-operated Mehr news agency reported on the offer to Europe, and reportedly Tehran told Europe that “Winter is coming.”
Media’s Interpretation of the Nord Stream 1 Could Be Hyperbole
On Saturday, Gazprom told the public Siemens Energy would attempt to repair the oil leaks. Siemens Energy, however, claims oil leaks, like the ones found this past weekend, usually would not stop gas deliveries.
“Such leaks do not normally affect the operation of a turbine and can be sealed on site. It is a routine procedure within the scope of maintenance work,” a TASS report quoting Siemens Energy explains.
Amid the speculation, Gazprom did explain on Monday that it will provide Europe with 42.4 million cubic metres of gas. Furthermore, some people don’t believe the media’s interpretation of Russia’s gas shut-off. One individual crunched some data and claims Russia’s gas halt only represents “3.1% of the EU’s daily [gas flows].” The individual continued by adding that some of the media’s reports are “sensationalism at its best.”
In another tweet the individual insisted that “high Russian flows helped a lot in early 2022,” but further noted that “this is a 2023-24 issue, and a big one.”
What do you think about Dmitry Peskov’s claims and Iran tempting Europe with cheap gas? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.