Putin puts PRESSURE on Europe after Russia confirms closure of Europpe gas pipeline | World | New

An academic has urged Washington and Brussels to strike a deal permanently banning any Russian energy exports once and for all, warning: “There can be no return to the status quo with the Kremlin”. The Russian public energy company, Gazpromsaid today that Nord Stream 1 would stop for three days at the end of this month to undergo what it called “routine maintenance”.

In a statement posted online, Gazprom said the only operational turbine at a key compressor station along the pipeline, which connects western Russia and Germany, will shut down from August 31 to September 2.

In a reference to its German partner, Siemens Energy, the company said: “A set of routine maintenance in accordance with the current maintenance contract will be carried out jointly with specialists from Siemens.”

Gazprom said that once the work is completed, gas flow through Nord Stream 1 will resume to its previous level of 33 million cubic meters, or 20% of the pipeline’s nameplate capacity alone.

Natural gas flows via Nord Stream 1 have been highly controversial. The shutdown will come a month after Gazprom restored natural gas supply through the pipeline to just one-fifth of capacity after a previous shutdown for maintenance.

Russia has blamed the pipeline cuts on technical issues, but Germany calls them a political stunt designed to sow uncertainty and drive up prices amid the conflict in Ukraine.

The recently announced maintenance shutdown has raised fears that Russia will completely cut off gas used to power industry, generate electricity and heat homes in an attempt to gain political clout over Europe as it tries to increase its storage levels for the winter.

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Siemens, which is in charge of maintaining the Nord Stream 1 turbines, declined to comment.

Earlier, senior German politicians from ruling parties dismissed suggestions that gas shortages could be eased by allowing the suspended Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to go into operation, which the Kremlin has suggested as a solution.

Kevin Kuehnert, number two of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats, said: “I strongly suggest we spare ourselves the humiliation of always asking Putin for something that we won’t get.”

Speaking to the t-online website, he added: ‘The addiction to it has to end once and for all.

Harvard University physicist Dr. Benjamin Schmitt agreed, tweeting: “Enough.

“The US and EU should issue joint sanctions to permanently shut down Russian energy export pipelines like #NordStream1, #NordStream2 and #TurkStream2.

“There cannot be a return to business as usual with Putin’s Kremlin.”

Dr Schmitt added: “Putin continues with bogus ‘technical’ excuses for gas cuts to EU via #NordStream1.

“Here are two actions the Kremlin could take if it really wants to deliver gas (and it doesn’t).” Use turbines from #NordStream2 that are supposed to be ready.

“Send gas via alternate routes where capacity exists.”

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