Kremlin: Gas cutoff to stay till sanctions in place

The Kremlin said on Monday that Western sanctions had caused “absolute commotion” in the maintenance of Russia’s natural gas delivery equipment, insisting that there were “no other reasons” Moscow had halted a key pipeline that connects Russia and Germany. Gazprom, the Kremlin-controlled Russian energy giant, said last week that it would postpone restarting the flow of natural gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which terminates in Germany and provides gas to much of Europe. Gazprom gave no timeline for resuming gas flow, and Western officials said the postponement was a political tit-for-tat to punish Europe for its opposition to the war in Ukraine.
The comments on Monday by Dmitri Peskov, the spokesman for President Putin, were some of the Kremlin’s sharpest in recent weeks tying its reduction in gas deliveries to Western sanctions. Peskov suggested that limited deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline could still resume via a single turbine that Russia said was damaged, but that the system would not return to full operation as long as the West maintained sanctions. Since July, the pipeline’s flow has been at about 20% of its overall capacity. “The pumping problems arose because of the sanctions imposed against our country and against a number of companies by Western states,” Peskov told reporters on Monday, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency. “Given that the sanctions remain in place, given that they have brought absolute commotion – legal and practical – to everything related to the maintenance of all components and assemblies, for now we can only hope that it will be possible to fix this one unit.”

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