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Gazprom has halted operation of one of the last two turbines in operation on the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, citing a “technical problem”
The return to Russia of a Siemens turbine presented as essential to the operation of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, which supplies Europe, is “impossible” because of sanctions against Moscow, Russian gas giant Gazprom said on Wednesday .
Sanctions regimes in Canada, the European Union and the United Kingdom, as well as inconsistencies in the current situation regarding Siemens' contractual obligations make delivery impossible, Gazprom said in a statement.
These statements risk heightening the concern of European countries, which suspect Moscow of seeking a pretext to delay the return of this turbine and further reduce its gas deliveries, in the tense context around Ukraine.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday accused Russia of being responsible for blocking the delivery of the turbine.
Gazprom says the equipment, which was returned to Germany after being repaired in Canada, is essential to ensure the smooth operation of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, which supplies Europe.
Russia in June and July reduced the volume of its deliveries, saying that the gas pipeline could not function normally without this part.
The Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, with a capacity of 167 million cubic meters daily, according to Gazprom, connects Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea. It is strategic for the gas supplies of Europeans, especially the Germans, very dependent on Russian energy resources.
The Russian gas is present in the daily life of Europeans.
Westerners accuse Moscow of using the energy weapon in retaliation for the sanctions adopted after the offensive against Ukraine.
The Kremlin ensures, for its part, that it is the sanctions which are at the origin of the difficulties of delivery and that Europe has since suffered from the measures it imposes on Russia.
Russia has been hit with several rounds of Western sanctions following its military intervention in Ukraine launched on February 24 .