Anxiety Grip Europe Over Russia’s Nord Stream Pipeline Closure

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The decision yesterday by Germany to shut down Nord Stream 1 route pipeline to Germany has raised anxiety among politicians in Europe. There is the suspicion that the embattled may not switch the pipeline back

Nord Stream is a pair of offshore natural gas pipelines in Europe that run under the Baltic Sea from to Germany. It includes the two Nord Stream 1 pipelines running from Vyborg in northwestern Russia, near Finland, and the two Nord Stream 2 pipelines running from Ust-Luga in northwestern Russia, near Estonia

Nord Stream 1’s operators said it needs routine servicing but there are fears that will use the opportunity to shut down the pipeline for good because of its standoff with western powers over Ukraine.

Germany stands by nuclear phase-out despite Russian energy crunch. It would also cause problems for other European countries after modelling by German regulators said the country would have to curb its onward exports, to countries such as Austria and the Czech Republic, if Nord Stream remains at a standstill.

“Let’s prepare ourselves for a cut-off of Russian gas, today it’s the most likely scenario,” the French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, was quoted last night.

He however said the French government was doing everything possible to prevent energy shortages.
Reuters said although France’s many nuclear power stations partly protect its electricity grid against Russian actions, many of them are currently down for and the country is looking to import more gas from elsewhere.

Germany is hurriedly building liquid gas terminals on its northern coast so it can start importing from outside this winter, but gas tanks are meant to be 80% full by November under new guidelines.

If Nord Stream stops and Germany does not limit exports, even a 20% reduction in gas consumption for the rest of the year would leave the country short of energy, the modelling by regulators said.

An MP from Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s party, Timon Grimmels, said could increase gas supplies through another east-west pipeline, Yamal, if it wanted to make up for the Nord Stream stoppage. “The fact this isn’t happening is further evidence for the fact that Putin is using gas as a weapon in an economic war,” he said.

Reuters said -owned Russian exporter, Gazprom has already reduced delivery through Nord Stream 1, a 1,224-kilometre pipeline under the Baltic Sea, for what it claimed were technical reasons linked to compressor units.

German economy minister, Robert Habeck, last month described this as a pretext to limit supplies and drive up already alarmingly high energy prices.

Nord Stream 2, a parallel pipeline which was completed last year, never went online after Mr. Scholz suspended the project in February. to some EU countries has been cut off for refusing to pay in roubles, a demand made by the Kremlin in March.

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