The head of the network regulator in Germany, Klaus Mueller, said Russia’s Gazprom notified resumption of gas flows on Thursday of only about 30 percent of the pipeline capacity but later announced that actual deliveries could reach the pre-maintenance level of some 40 percent.
“The political uncertainty and the 60 percent reduction from mid-June, unfortunately, remain,” Mueller tweeted.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that gas shipments through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would reopen as soon as the 10-day maintenance was completed, but warned of limited flows over unresolved sanctions.
Russia shut the Nord Stream 1 pipeline under the Baltic Sea on July 11 to undergo annual maintenance.
The German government expressed fear that Moscow would not reopen the pipeline after the scheduled work in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Russia.
On Wednesday, the European Commission urged European Union countries to reduce demand for natural gas by 15% in the coming months.
According to reports, the EU commissioners also asked member states “to give Brussels special powers to impose compulsory energy rationing if Russia cuts off Europe’s gas lifeline.”
“Russia is blackmailing us. Russia is using energy as a weapon, and therefore, in any event, whether it’s a partial major cut-off of Russian gas or total cut-off… Europe needs to be ready,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.
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