Months of brinkmanship by Russia over the flow of natural gas to Germany and the remaining of Europe could reach a high point later this week, when a brief shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline is scheduled to finish.
Nord Stream 1, the major pipeline connecting Germany and Russia, is operated by Gazprom, the Russian state-owned energy giant. Gazprom, which recently warned European buyers of its gas that it would cut off flows, shut down the pipeline on July 11 for annual maintenance. Gazprom is scheduled to restart the pipeline after about 10 days, because it has done in past years.
But this yr the closure has raised concerns that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia will keep the pipeline shut to punish Germany and the remaining of Europe for his or her opposition to the war in Ukraine. Other pipelines, running through Poland and Ukraine, aren’t getting used as alternative links to send gas as they were in past years throughout the temporary shutdown, Germany’s pipeline regulator said.
Gazprom had already reduced gas shipments by as much as 60 percent before the closure, blaming the absence of a turbine that had been sent to Canada for repairs and will not be returned due to economic sanctions against shipping technology to Russia. German officials disputed Gazprom’s claim.
The restriction of Russian gas for the reason that war began has forced one in every of Germany’s largest energy providers to the brink of bankruptcy. The corporate, Uniper, said on Monday that it had used up a 2 billion euro credit line from the German state-owned investment bank and has applied for extra money.
Uniper, which is Germany’s largest importer of Russian gas, has racked up day by day losses of tens of million of euros since Russia cut gas flows to Germany last month, forcing it to purchase gas from other sources at much higher prices.