Russia’s President Vladimir Putin warns against a further reduction in Russian gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline According to the Russian state news agency Tass, on the sidelines of a meeting in Tehran. “We still have a finished route – that’s Nord Stream 2. We can put it into operation,” Putin offered at the same time.
According to Putin, the Russian gas company Gazprom will fulfill its obligations “in full”. “Gazprom has fulfilled its obligations, is fulfilling them now and will continue to fulfill them in the future,” Putin said. Against the background of the Ukraine war and Western sanctions, Gazprom had recently significantly reduced deliveries to Europe.
Hardly any Russian gas has flowed to Germany since July 11, as the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline is out of service for maintenance work. The turbine repaired in Canada was not returned to Russia due to Western sanctions resulting from Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
Energy exports as leverage?
At the request of Berlin, the Canadian government recently decided to hand over the Siemens Energy turbine to Germany so that it can be installed again. This is intended to give Russia an excuse to permanently stop gas supplies or continue to curtail them.
Meanwhile, Moscow said that neither the machine nor the associated documents had arrived. In addition, Putin’s statements in Tehran suggest that even after the maintenance work is complete and even if the turbine is installed, the pipeline may not be brought back up to full capacity. It is conceivable that Moscow wants to force the commissioning of Nord Stream 2.
The pipeline was completed in 2021, but the certification documents are still missing. The permitting process for the line was suspended by Germany after the Russian attack on Ukraine.
Putin calls for sanctions on grain exports to be lifted
In the debate about the blockade of Ukrainian grain exports in Tehran, Putin called for Western sanctions on Russian grain exports to be lifted: “We will facilitate the export of Ukrainian grain, but we assume that all restrictions in connection with air freight deliveries for the export of Russian grain be lifted,” he said.
Western states accuse Russia of deliberately restricting the export of Ukrainian and Russian grain. Moscow, on the other hand, blames Western sanctions for a lack of exports and rising food prices worldwide. However, the EU and other countries have repeatedly emphasized that food shipments from Russia are not subject to their sanctions.
President is in a good mood on a trip abroad
Putin, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a summit in Tehran on Tuesday. Above all, it was about the situation in the civil war country Syria. “Iran believes that the only solution to the Syrian crisis is a political one and that military action is not only ineffective but will aggravate the situation,” Raisi said at a closing speech on Tuesday attended by Putin and Erdoğan.
Clearly in a good mood, Russia’s President Putin arrived in Tehran. It was his second known trip abroad since the attack on Ukraine began. While Putin recently received top politicians at long tables in Moscow, there was little distance seen in Iran at meetings with the supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or President Raisi.
Putin accuses the West of trying to “dismember” Syria
Putin called for more unity in Syria policy and accused the West of interfering. According to the President, this “set course for the dismemberment of the country”. Erdoğan meanwhile called for support in the fight against terrorism. “Our fight against terrorist organizations will always continue, regardless of where or by whom it is supported,” said the Turkish head of state.
In a final declaration, the heads of state agreed to preserve Syria’s territorial integrity. A diplomatic solution mediated by the United Nations is being sought. Other goals are to fight terrorism and to ease tensions in the rebel stronghold of Idlib. The suffering of the people in Syria should be ended as soon as possible so that refugees can also return to their country. The next meeting of the three states on Syria is scheduled to take place in Russia later this year.
Even if the Syria talks were the focus of the meeting, in addition to regional cooperation, Russia’s war of aggression in its neighboring country Ukraine was probably an issue. The Ukraine war was no longer discussed publicly on Tuesday. The meeting came shortly after a trip to the region by US President Joe Biden. Biden returned from Saudi Arabia – Iran’s regional rival – just over the weekend.