Russia on Monday reiterated that Western sanctions against the country have caused the complete closure of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline between Germany and Russia. Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said so in a telephone conversation with journalists. He said the sanctions are “causing chaos” on pipeline maintenance and denied that the pipeline shutdown is politically motivated to cut Europe off from Russian gas.
“The problems with inflating (of gas, ed.) have surfaced due to the sanctions of the western countries,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said. “There is no other cause of these problems.”
The spokesman said that “we see continued efforts to place responsibility and blame for what is happening on Russia.” But “we firmly reject those attempts and we maintain that the West, in this case the European Union, Canada and the United Kingdom, are responsible for the situation getting to this point.”
Main supply line
The Nord Stream pipeline is the main supply pipeline for Russian gas to Europe. She was shut down for maintenance last Wednesday and should have restarted on Saturday. But on Friday, the Russian state group Gazprom announced that an oil leak had been discovered and that gas supply would therefore be halted for longer.
In Europe, the prevailing view is that Russia uses the gas supply as a political leverage. The European Union has imposed numerous sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine, and this would be in retaliation.
European gas prices shot higher on Monday morning in response to the extended shutdown of Nord Stream 1. The Dutch TTF futures for one-month delivery were around noon at 265 euros per megawatt hour, almost a quarter higher than Friday. Last week, the gas price in Europe had fallen by almost 40 percent.