Russia Indefinitely Stops Nord Stream Gas Flows to Europe, Blames Western Sanctions

Russia has indefinitely stopped natural gas supplies to Europe through the Gazprom pipeline, worsening the energy crisis looming over Europe ahead of the winter. Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Friday gas flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline will not resume on Saturday as announced earlier, due to technical malfunctions.

The 1,200km pipeline stretches under the Baltic Sea, connecting the Russian coast near St Petersburg to north-eastern Germany. Russia completely stopped gas flows through the pipeline three days ago, citing maintenance requirements.

Germany Hardest Hit

Gazprom's U-turn on resumption of services will hit Germany the hardest, as it is the ost dependent on Russian gas after phasing out its nuclear power stations.

Nord Stream gas pipeline
Nord Stream gas pipeline Reuters

Amid western allegations of 'weaponizing' gas supplies in the backdrop of the Ukraine war, wherein the west is totally aligned against Russia, Gazprom has now said the stoppage would continue indefinitely.

Gazprom said on Friday it has been warned about a turbine failure by Russia's industrial regulator Rostekhnadzor. The Russian energy monopoly said the issue was detected during maintenance checks, and energy supplies will not be resumed.

Turbines Need Overhaul

According to the Russian state-owned company, German manufacturer Siemens, has been contacted about the turbine failure and the need for an overhaul.

Russian gas supplies to Europe have been significantly reduced since the beginning of the Ukraine war. before the latest shutdown, the gas lines were flowing at just 20 percent of the capacity, causing an unprecedented energy price increase across Europe.

European gas gas prices have spiked more than 400 percent in Europe after the supply crisis began in the wake of the Ukraine war. Further output cuts or supply outages will drive prices up again.

Gazprom Wikimedia Commons

Russia says that western sanctions have crippled its efforts to repair the turbines in time. Moscow said several gas turbines sent to Canada's Montreal got stuck there due to Canada's sanctions against Russia.

Germany intervened and Canada gave an exemption but Gazprom refused to take delivery of the serviced turbine, citing documentation issues.

Moscow and Gazprom say the western sanctions are the real reason behind the reduced capacity of Nord Stream and the routine stoppages in the pipeline. Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller stressed the fact that sanctions are obstructing Siemens Energy from completing regular maintenance of the pipeline.