Russia’s Gazprom announced Monday that it will further reduce gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline down to 20% of its capacity over a turbine that needs repairs.
Nord Stream 1, which connects Russia and Germany, was already operating at only 40% of its capacity over delays caused by Western sanctions to return another turbine that was being repaired.
The turbine was initially stuck in Canada due to Western sanctions on Russia. The Canadian government eventually decided to release it, and now the turbine is in Germany, but Gazprom has said there are still issues with the part.
Monday’s announcement raised fears in Europe that the EU’s gas supply from Russia could be completely cut off, which the IMF warns could cause a deep recession in several European countries.
European leaders don’t believe that Russia has reduced gas supply because of turbine repairs and are accusing Moscow of using gas as a weapon. But if Russia’s move is not because of the turbine issues, it’s clearly retaliation for the US-led Western sanctions campaign that was meant to decimate the Russian economy.
The US and its European allies essentially declared an economic war against Moscow, which has largely backfired, and are now acting surprised that Russia would retaliate.
The head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said last week that the EU needs to reduce its gas consumption by a staggering 20% to make it through the upcoming winter. The EU unveiled a plan to reduce gas use by 15%, but not all members have agreed to the plan.