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Putin Strikes Back: Is Russia Done Sending Gas to Europe over Ukraine?

Artillery
Artillery at war. Image Credit: Swedish Military.

What Russia’s Decision to Cut Off Nord Stream 1 Means For Europe – Europe looks set for a major energy crisis this winter after Russian state energy company Gazprom announced that the export of natural gas to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would cease indefinitely.

The move was announced by Gazprom on Friday, confirming in a statement that it has no plans to resume gas flow through the pipeline over the weekend.

The Russia’s state energy giant blamed an oil leak at the Portovaya compressor station, which was shut down on Wednesday for maintenance, but the move could also be a political ploy to force European countries to reconsider economic sanctions against Russia.

The news also comes as Russia’s forces in Ukraine face an uphill battle as Ukrainian forces continue to gain ground as part of a new counteroffensive in southeastern Ukraine. It follows a previous suspension of services after a turbine broke in the pipeline.

Gazprom revealed in a statement that until the issues are resolved, gas supplies to the Nord Stream pipeline “have been completely stopped.”

The Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which connects Russia and Germany with a natural gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea, is the biggest pipeline bringing Russian natural gas into Europe. In 2021, 40% of the European Union’s gas was supplied by Russia. Without that supply, the continent faces serious a serious dilemma as we head toward the winter.

Russia Playing Political Games?

Gazprom’s statement on the closure of the pipeline could well have been propaganda, and experts have said as much.

On Saturday, Gazprom announced that Siemens Energy was preparing to carry out the necessary repairs on the pipeline to bring it back online. In a statement, the energy company claimed that Siemens expressed willingness to perform the repairs but had nowhere available to carry out the necessary work.

Siemens denied the claim, however, and said that the company had not been asked to perform the repairs.

“Siemens is taking part in repair work in accordance with the current contract, is detecting malfunctions … and is ready to fix the oil leaks. Only there is nowhere to do the repair,” Gazprom said in a statement on Telegram on Saturday.

Russian Su-34

Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

A spokesperson for Siemens said that despite not having already been asked or commissioned to carry out the work, which would involve fixing a broken turbine, the company is available to carry it out. The company also seemed to suggest that Gazprom’s claim that the pipeline was broken so badly it cannot be safely used was incorrect.

“Irrespective of this, we have already pointed out several times that there are enough additional turbines available in the Portovaya compressor station for Nord Stream 1 to operate,” a spokesperson said.

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Mario

    September 3, 2022 at 1:10 pm

    “Maintenance” is a word (and a concept) that does not exist i russian languaje. Said that, never before the gas flux has been interrumped in the Nordstreams. It’s obviously an attack to the civilized world that claims a response: calibrated (maybe), but a response.

  2. Jacksonian Libertarian

    September 3, 2022 at 2:36 pm

    Putin is desperate to force a ceasefire and negotiate an end to the conflict with the present frontlines intact. Unfortunately for him it is in the West’s best interests for Russia to be driven back to the Post Soviet borders. And for Europe to seek energy elsewhere by repudiating the Environmentalists by buying the cheapest energy available outside of Russia.

  3. Bender

    September 3, 2022 at 6:51 pm

    Thanks god not all europeans are stupid.
    We can -and will- live with less gas.
    My grandparents didn’t have all the luxuries that we have today, yet they still lived to a ripe 80ish years old.

    Moral integrity is always worth.

  4. Jack

    September 3, 2022 at 11:41 pm

    The Europeans will figure out a way to stay warm. They are very smart.At least that’s what they tell us all the time…

  5. speedster

    September 4, 2022 at 5:20 am

    This action cutting off gas , to western europe, is equivalent to the old expression “cutting off ones nose to spite ones face”, which means doing something to harm someone else(western Europe), but also harms the person or entity(russia) that does it.

    The point is that there are already extensive sanctions on Russia for its illegal invasion of Ukraine, and despite frequent protestations that they are not having an effect, they are having an effect, and the reduction in whatever remaining revenue Russia got from its main customer, will simply hasten the untenable Russian ability to fund its military adventurism.

  6. Friend

    September 4, 2022 at 9:11 am

    Well, the EU had no choice but to cut Russia out of the deal. The enemy’s strategic plan would have necessary led to the capture and puppet-control of at least nine other EU countries with the population of 200+ million. Invading all of them is currently the only way to temporarily preserve national security against NATO. A no brainer really, because the EU was consuming itself to buy more time before the breaking point came along.

  7. Fluffy Dog

    September 5, 2022 at 2:49 pm

    There is a rule in the business world: treat your clients well, and they will remain your clients. There is the opposite rule also: treat your suppliers well, and they will help you at the crunch time.
    It’s been discussed back in the USSR that “the shut-off valve is in Russia.” It is, but using it means that you lose the business forever. Putin, being part a KGB officer and part a mob boss, does not know much, and least of all business. Some people in Russia understand the rules above, but they are not the decision-makers.
    Putin gambled that everybody would get scared and would knuckle under. But Russia is not the sole source of oil and gas. The EU weighed the pros and cons and made a business decision to cut the unreliable supplier. End of story. It wasn’t even geopolitical.

  8. Serhio

    September 6, 2022 at 12:30 am

    Wow, what naive Europeans. “Let’s steal 300 billion euros from Putin, carry out “infernal sanctions” against him, refuse to buy Russian gas and oil and supply weapons to Ukraine so that Russians are killed there.” Putin: “Abandon gas and oil? OK, good idea. Let’s try it.” Europeans: “Wow, Wow, take it easy, are you going to use gas as a weapon? It’s not fair!! Only we ourselves must choose the time when it is convenient for us to give up your gas!!!” Putin laughs maliciously and lightning flashes behind his back. Europeans are starting to close their factories due to the fact that energy has become prohibitively expensive and collect firewood in the forest so as not to freeze in winter. Turks, Chinese and Indians are happily rubbing their hands and preparing to buy up ruined European production facilities that still represent at least some interest and sell their goods to Europe. We buy popcorn and watch the second season of the TV series “Putin and his jerks”. About how the United States and the European Union want to limit the price they want to pay Putin for oil. I think after this news, all OPEC representatives went to the Russian embassies to drink real Russian vodka there with the ambassadors, despite all the strict norms of Islam – because the occasion deserves it! No one has ever made such a gift of fate to oil exporters…

  9. from Russia with love

    September 6, 2022 at 9:38 am

    @Serhio
    1) “We buy popcorn and watch the second season of the TV series “Putin and his jerks.”” I am Russian and I responsibly declare to you – these are not our idiots! it’s Biden and his jerks!😂
    2) OPEC did not go to drink vodka at the Russian embassy. they came up with a much better way to celebrate this event. OPEC held a meeting and decided to reduce production.😎
    BUT! maybe after that they all the same went to the Russian embassy to drink vodka!🤣

  10. from Russia with love

    September 6, 2022 at 10:02 am

    @Jack
    Yes, Europeans are smart and European governments are already guessing how Europeans will warm up in winter. for example, in Germany in October they plan to start patrolling the streets with the army. apparently in Berlin they already understand that the Germans plan to warm themselves in winter with burning car tires and Molotov cocktails.😉

  11. Serhio

    September 6, 2022 at 9:16 pm

    @from Russia with love
    “I am Russian and I responsibly declare to you – these are not our idiots! it’s Biden and his jerks!”

    ОК. English is not my native language. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t express myself very clearly. In my opinion, the series should be called “Putin versus jerks”

  12. from Russia with love

    September 7, 2022 at 11:43 am

    @Serhio
    “In my opinion, the series should be called “Putin versus jerks””
    Yes, this is closer to the truth! 😎👍
    I’m really amazed at what these guys are doing! they first do something and only then they begin to understand that what they did basically harmed them. but does that stop them? No! they immediately do something else again and again find that they have hurt themselves even more. among their leaders there is not one of those who first thinks and only then does. and so on in everything… green energy, sanctions, international contracts, public statements…

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