Photo Credit: Pjotr Mahhonin / Wikimedia
Spirit of Europe Sign ‘Nord Stream - The new gas supply route for Europe’, May 19, 2014

Russia’s state-owned Gazprom energy company announced Monday that it will further cut gas supplies to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline into Germany.

Gas supplies are to be cut to just 20 percent of capacity, starting this Wednesday at 7 am Moscow time, at Russia’s Portovaya compression station.


Gazprom slashed daily gas deliveries last month to 40 percent of capacity.

The move appears to be an additional retaliation for European Union sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The invasion, which began February 24, has seriously affected global food supplies, since Ukrainian grain exports comprise a primary worldwide breadbasket.

Russia claims it has halted operation of one of its last two operating turbines due to the “technical condition of the engine” and blamed “technical complications brought on by the European sanctions.”

Moscow blamed the absence of a separate Siemens gas turbine undergoing repairs in Canada, with Gazprom claiming dissatisfaction with the documents it received.

Siemens, which manufactured the turbine, said that it was transported from Canada to Germany, and could be shipped immediately to Russia. However, the company said, Gazprom has not provided the required customs documents.

“The maintenance of our turbines is and remains a routine procedure,” Siemens said.

“We are monitoring the situation very closely in close exchange with the Federal Network Agency and the gas crisis team,” the German Economics Ministry told the state-run DPA news agency.

“According to our information, there is no technical reason for a reduction in deliveries,” it added.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement on Monday that EU nations with gas supplies independent of Russia need to demonstrate solidarity with countries forced to ration gas this coming winter.

EU ministers were scheduled for a debate Tuesday on a gas saving plan calling for member states to reduce their demand by 15 percent.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.