Russia cut natural gas supplies to Germany again just after turning the spiggot back on from a two week maintenance break. This time, Russia cut the supply of gas back to 20% of the pipeline’s maximum capacity. European nations have been dependent on Russis’s Nordstream1 pipeline…and now they are in a desperate situation.
The EU had already been struggling with the previous cut, with authorities in Brussels struggling to get member states to agree to implement a 15 per cent cut in their own gas usage in the hopes of getting vulnerable states through the coming winter.
According to a report by Der Spiegel, however, things have now gone from bad to worse, with Russian state gas company Gazprom saying that it will now only allow the essential Nord Stream 1 pipeline operating between Germany and Russia to operate at a maximum of 33 million cubic meters a day, or 20 per cent of its maximum capacity, from Wednesday.
The Nord Stream 1 pipeline runs from Vyborg, Russia underneath the Baltic Sea to Germany. Its primary shareholder is the Russian gas company Gazprom. Its smallest capacity is 55 billion cubic meters per year, but it transported 59.2 billion cubic meters in 2021. It has two branches, the Nel that goes to Rehden in the West, and Opal which goes to Olbernhau in the East. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev were present at the opening of the pipeline in 2011. Then Ukraine happened in 2022, and all bets were off. It also decertified Nord Stream 2, the scheduled pipeline to bring in more gas to Europe.
Trump warned Germany while he was in office that they were vulnerable to a Russia cut for their gas, but they fluffed him off. He was right – now the economy of Germany is rapidly falling. And while the US could bring our energy industry online to help them, Biden refuses so that our economy is also in dire straits. Energy is not just power- its a lifeline that windmills or solar panels cannot serve.
Russia says it is not interested in cutting Europe off entirely, but threatened that if the sanctions continue, things may be different.
“Russia is a responsible gas supplier, and regardless of what anyone says in the European Commission, in European capitals, in the United States, Russia was, is, and will continue to be the country that largely guarantees Europe’s energy security.
If Europe continues on its path of totally reckless imposition of restrictions and sanctions that hit it, then the situation will be different.”
Dmitry Peskov, Russian presidential spokesman (Tass)
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