BERLIN (AP) — Russia's Gazprom stopped the flow of natural gas through a major pipeline from Russia to Europe early Wednesday, a temporary move to it announced in advance.
The Russian state-controlled energy giant said earlier this month that it would the cut the flow of gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline until Saturday for what it says is a three-day pause for routine maintenance at a compressor station.
According to Gazprom, the only remaining turbine, which is located at the Portovaya compressor station, needs maintenance. The head of Germany's Federal Network Agency, Klaus Mueller, has said that the maintenance work is technically incomprehensible and he considers it a way of punishing Germany for siding with Ukraine since the Russian invasion.
Gazprom has repeatedly reduced the flow of gas through Nord Stream 1 claiming technical issues such as equipment repairs. Germany calls these cuts a political move to sow uncertainty and push up prices amid the war in Ukraine.
Russia has also reduced the flow of gas to other European countries which have sided with Ukraine in the war.
Russia recently has accounted for about a third of Germany’s gas supplies. The government said last week that the drop in gas flows confirmed that Germany can’t rely on Russian deliveries, announcing that it would step up its gas storage requirements and take further measures to conserve supplies.