Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that it is the West’s fault that the flow of Russian natural gas to European customers has slowed and warned that it could continue to decline.
Putin’s statement further increased pressure on the European Union, which fears Russia could cut off gas to wreak economic and political havoc in Europe in the winter. Speaking to Russian journalists in Tehran, where he attended talks with the leaders of Iran and Turkey, Putin said that the amount of gas pumped through the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany will fall further from 60 million to 30 million cubic meters per day, or about a fifth of its capacity, if a turbine is not replaced quickly. He added that Russia could launch the recently completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline that never entered service, but noted that it would only have half of its designated capacity because the rest has been used for domestic needs.
The Russian leader also warned the West that his plan to cap Russian oil prices as part of his sanctions on Ukraine will destabilize the global oil market and cause prices to skyrocket.
“We are hearing some crazy ideas about restricting Russian oil volumes and limiting the price of Russian oil,” he said. “The result will be the same: an increase in prices. Prices will skyrocket.” Since Russian troops entered Ukraine in February, the EU has approved bans on Russian coal and most oil that take effect later this year, but left out natural gas because the 27-nation bloc relies on it for fuel. power factories, generate electricity and heat homes. However, Russian state-controlled natural gas giant Gazprom cut gas deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany by 60% last month, citing technical problems after a turbine Siemens shipped to Canada for your review could not be returned due to penalties. Canada and Germany reached an agreement to return the turbine, but Putin said Tuesday that Gazprom has not yet received the relevant documents. The Russian leader said Gazprom would shut down another turbine for repairs at the end of July, and if the one shipped to Canada is not returned by then, the flow of gas will decrease further.
As another reason for the supply cut, he pointed to Ukraine shutting down a branch of a transit pipeline carrying Russian gas to the West through territory controlled by Moscow-based separatists.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.