Gazprom, the Russian state-owned natural gas supplier, has reduced its flow of product to Germany for the second day in a row and one of the strongest economies in the European Union, is about to come crashing down if the drop in exports continue.
Currently, Germany is only receiving around 40 percent of its usual amount of natural gas through Nord Stream 1 pipeline, self-imposed of course because of the sanctions they decided to put against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine.
If the low exports persist any longer, Germany will have about sixteen billion cubic meters less natural gas by the end of the year – which will have a catastrophic impact on those living in the EU when winter comes around again.
Gazprom cut natural gas flows on the first day by 40 percent and the next day a following 20 percent cut was made due to Canadian sanctions preventing the company’s German partner Siemens Energy from delivering overhauled equipment.
German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said the move was political and had nothing to do with technical difficulties. He added that the latest developments “clearly show the Russian side’s explanation is simply an excuse.”
“Obviously, the strategy is to unsettle people and push up prices,” he further said.
Italy has also had reduced exports from Gazprom through a different pipeline, which has been reduced by 15 percent.
ABC News reported, “The reduced flows to two of Europe’s biggest importers of Russian natural gas follow Russia’s previous halt of gas supplies to Bulgaria, Poland, Finland, the Netherlands and Denmark.”
The European Union finds itself in a sticky situation, as it has obviously jumped the gun before it could put any other feasible measures into place to avoid coming blackouts and a freezing winter.
Simone Tagliapietra, an energy expert from the Brussels-based think tank Bruegel, is urging Europe “not to be complacent and urgently scale-up coordination” so the continent is “prepared for a possibly difficult winter ahead.”
Russia is being accused of driving up prices deliberately, engaging in “short-term market manipulation to drive up gas prices,” but the reality is that Russia is only responding to the sanctions that have been imposed on it. Did the West really expect to put on sanctions and continue to bathe in Russian oil and gas? It seems that way.
Countries are still able to purchase whatever gas and oil they need from Russia, but the stipulation is that they will have to pay for it with rubles.
Siemens Energy are stating that a piece of equipment that was sent to Canada for maintenance has no way of making it back to the because of the sanctions against Russia – Habeck however, denies this is the case.
The German Chancellor said that the equipment for not scheduled for maintenance until later this year and that there has still been no explanation for the reduction in natural gas flow.