Russia blames Western sanctions for pipeline shutdown, while Ukraine accuses Kremlin of energy ‘blackmail’
The Kremlin blamed the West on Monday for shutting down Nord Stream 1, arguing that economic sanctions had prevented Gazprom from carrying out maintenance on the important pipeline that carries natural gas from Russia to Germany.
Gazprom closed the pipeline last week and postponed a scheduled reopening due to an oil leak in the turbines.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the repair of those turbines did not take place “due to sanctions”.
“There are no other causes that would cause pumping problems,” Peskov said.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmyal accused Russia of using energy as “blackmail” and urged Europeans to continue supporting Ukraine despite rising inflation and rising energy costs.
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“Russia is waging a mixed war on the European continent against the European Union. Gas extortion, oil extortion, creating a food crisis, a migrant crisis, disinformation, cyber attacks,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmyal said in Brussels after a meeting with Europeans. union officials.
“But abandoning Ukraine alone against Russia – that would be just one of those steps for Russia’s further penetration into Europe. The only salvation is for Europe to unite.”
The German company Siemens Energy, which makes the turbines used by Nord Stream 1, said the oil leak can be fixed while natural gas continues to flow.
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European leaders have urged citizens to conserve energy in the coming weeks to avoid rationing and blackouts as winter approaches.
French President Emmanuel Macron French businesses and households were asked on Monday to cut back on heating and air conditioning use in a bid to reach a 10% reduction in energy use.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.