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Russia Halts Nord Stream Gas Supplies to Europe

The Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline, through which Russian natural gas has been flowing to Germany since 2011, ends in Lubmin near Greifswald. Stefan Sauer / dpa / TASS

Russia’s Nord Stream gas pipeline suspended deliveries to Germany for maintenance Monday amid European worries of an extended shutdown over its response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

From 11 July to 21 July 2022, Nord Stream AG will temporarily shut down both lines of its gas pipeline system for annual routine maintenance works,” a notice on the pipeline operator’s website said. 

The closure leaves one Russian gas supply route to Europe via Ukraine, carrying about 40 million cubic meters a day through western Russia’s Sudzha metering station. Kyiv in May halted another transit route, citing interference by occupying Russian forces.

German officials and analysts have said they do not rule out the possibility that Nord Stream could suspend gas flows beyond the scheduled maintenance period.

Last year’s repairs saw gas supplies via Nord Stream halted between July 13 and July 23, 2021.

Gas flows via other pipelines from Russia to Europe have gradually declined in the months since Moscow launched a military campaign against its pro-Western neighbor Ukraine in late February.

Western sanctions in retaliation to the war sparked fears that Russia could weaponize Europe’s dependence on Russian gas. 

Poland, Bulgaria, Finland and the Netherlands have had their natural gas deliveries suspended for refusing to bow to Russia’s demands that “unfriendly” countries pay in rubles.  

Russia’s Gazprom gas export monopoly cited repairs when it reduced gas deliveries to 40% of its capacity via Nord Stream to Germany last month.  

Nord Stream typically supplies Germany with 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year since it was commissioned in 2012.

Gazprom said the delayed return of Siemens components left three gas-pumping units operational at its compression station in northwestern Russia. 

Canada said Saturday it would return a repaired Nord Stream turbine to Germany. 

AFP contributed reporting.

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