Posted on Aug 30, 2022
Russia's Gazprom is cutting deliveries to a major French supplier Engie and has further said it would shut its main gas pipeline to Germany, Nord Stream 1, for three days of "maintenance" from Wednesday to Saturday this week.
European governments are still trying to fashion a coordinated response to soaring energy costs for businesses and households and to fill storage facilities ahead of peak demand in the winter.
Western nations appear to be surprised that Moscow is deliberately driving up gas prices to try to weaken their opposition to its invasion of Ukraine, a tactic Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Monday dubbed "economic terrorism".
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday technological problems caused by Western sanctions on Russia are the only thing standing in the way of supplying gas via Nord Stream 1.
Reuters reported French Energy Transition Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said: "Very clearly Russia is using gas as a weapon of war and we must prepare for the worst case scenario of a complete interruption of supplies."
She was speaking to France Inter radio after Engie said it would receive less gas from Gazprom from Tuesday because of an unspecified contractual dispute. Russia has been pumping gas via Nord Stream 1 at only 20% of capacity and there are fears that this week's outage could be extended.
Asked if there are guarantees that Gazprom will restart gas flows via Nord Stream 1, the Kremlin's Peskov said: "There are guarantees that, apart from technological problems caused by sanctions, nothing hinders the supplies."
EU energy ministers will hold an emergency meeting on September 9th to discuss the crisis.
Follow EU Today on Social media: