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Russia cuts gas supplies through Nord Stream pipeline

The Russian company Gazprom wants to reduce gas deliveries to Germany by around 40 percent. The group explained the step with a technical fault.

Russia is cutting gas supplies to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in the Baltic Sea by a good 40 percent. The energy company Gazprom announced on Tuesday that only 100 million cubic meters of gas per day can be guaranteed instead of the usual 167 million cubic meters. The background is missing parts that should have been delivered by the German Siemens group.

For Germany, Nord Stream 1 is the main supply pipeline with Russian gas. The Yamal-Europe line had previously not been filled. The transit of Russian gas through Ukraine, which is well below plan, is also reduced. Energy prices had already increased as a result of the previous restrictions, because overall less gas flows from Russia to Europe. The completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has not yet been put into operation.

Earlier, the Kremlin announced that Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, the Netherlands and Denmark would no longer receive gas from Russia. Other countries should not really be added. When asked whether new gas supply stops were planned, spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday, according to the Interfax agency: “No. The system works, the system has been adjusted, and those who receive gas are already working under the new system.”

Putin’s response to sanctions

At the end of March, Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin ordered a new payment system in response to Western sanctions in the wake of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The procedure stipulates that customers open a so-called K-account with the state-owned Russian Gazprombank. There they can still pay their bills in euros or dollars, the bank converts the money into rubles and transfers it to Gazprom.

The EU Commission does not see the sanctions as violated as long as the companies transfer the amounts in euros or dollars – as stipulated in the contracts – to an account with Gazprom and the transaction is thus considered completed. However, Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, the Netherlands and Denmark refused to switch to the new scheme – and are now no longer getting Russian gas.

In Germany, Shell Energy Europe has so far been affected by the delivery stop. However, the 1.2 billion cubic meters of gas that the group had previously obtained from Russia are not relevant to Germany’s security of supply.

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