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Nord Stream pipeline: Is Russia using gas as political blackmail

The Nord Stream 1 pipeline was allegedly closed last month due to maintenance work.

After receiving threats that it would reduce or stop all gas shipments to Europe, Russia has started flowing gas again through its largest pipeline. After a 10-day repair halt, the Nord Stream 1 pipeline was resumed, but at a lower rate.

In case Russia cuts off Europe’s supply, the European Commission advised nations to reduce gas use by 15% over the next seven months.

In 2021, 40% of Europe’s natural gas came from Russia.

Germany was the biggest importer on the continent in 2020, but it now only depends on one-third of the Russian gas supplies. At some point, it aims to completely stop utilizing Russian gas.

Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, wholesale gas prices in Europe skyrocketed, which had an adverse effect on consumer energy costs.

According to the European Commission, household retail power costs in the capital cities of the EU increased by 44% in May 2022 compared to May 2021. The Netherlands, Austria, and Italy saw the largest increases (up by 167%, 122%, and 118%).

Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, has made assurances that the nation’s gas company, Gazprom, will fulfill all of its contractual duties in an effort to allay concerns.

His spokesperson Dmitry Peskov refuted the claim that Russia was using gas as political blackmail.

However, barely 40% of the pipeline’s capacity is being delivered, and the head of Germany’s network regulator issued a warning that the restart of gas shipments was not a sign that tensions were reducing.

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