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Gazprom does not guarantee Nord Stream pipeline will work

July 13, 2022

The Russian energy giant said it did not know if a turbine engine would be returned from Canada. Moscow announced earlier that the pipeline, which runs from Russia to Germany, was shut down for repairs.

Pipe systems and shut-off devices at the gas receiving station of the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline
The Nord Stream pipeline was shut for repairs but questions in Germany linger on if and when the taps will be turned back on againImage: Jens Büttner/dpa/picture alliance

Gazprom, Russia's energy giant, said Wednesday that the functioning of Nord Stream could not be guaranteed even when a "critical" turbine for the pipeline returns from Canada where it is being repaired.

In a statement, the Russian state energy company said, "Gazprom does not have a single document to allow Siemens to take out of Canada the gas turbine engine currently being repaired there."

The statement added, "In these circumstances, it is not possible to draw an objective conclusion about the development of the situation and ensuring the safe operation of the Portovaya station — a critical facility for the Nord Stream gas pipeline."

Germany's Economy Ministry would not comment on Gazprom's statement.

Why is Nord Stream turned off right now?

On Monday, Nord Stream was shut with the official excuse of "repairs" given. The EU and Russian gas-dependent Germany in particular are now waiting to see if the pipeline will be turned back on.

Turbines for Nord Stream are being repaired at a Canadian site owned by German industrial firm Siemens.

Over the weekend, Canada agreed to deliver the turbines to Germany despite sanctions against Russia and appeals from Ukraine. On Monday, Canada's ambassador to Kyiv was summoned over the decision that Ukraine's Foreign Ministry called "unacceptable."

While the annual work was scheduled well in advance, political circumstances around Russia's decision to invade Ukraine and the EU's punitive sanctions in response have left Europe wondering whether the pipeline will go live again after repairs are complete.

Last month, Gazprom reduced deliveries through the Nord Stream pipeline by 60%. It is Germany's main supply source of Russian gas, which accounted for 35% of the country's gas until sanctions following Russia's invasion of Ukraine took hold.

Nord Stream is the older of two gas pipelines running from Russia to Germany. It is the main pipeline of Russian gas to Europe, especially after the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine has been reduced due to the war.

Germany has halted the launch of the newer pipeline, Nord Stream 2, as part of action against Russia over its war in Ukraine.

ar/fb (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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