Russia is an unreliable energy partner – Germany
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz claimed on Sunday that Russia cannot be considered a reliable energy supplier, and accused Moscow of breaching its contractual obligations.
Speaking at a news conference with party leaders from the Greens and pro-business FDP, he said Moscow was always a reliable energy partner “even during the Cold War,” but that the rule no longer applies.
According to the chancellor, the impact of the Ukraine conflict and related sanctions is being keenly felt in Germany, but Berlin will continue to support Kiev against Russia.
Scholz expects Germany to pass through a rough period, but expressed his confidence that the nation will cope with the energy crunch during the upcoming winter season.
Germany is grappling with natural gas supply problems via Nord Stream 1, which has been entirely shut down since August 31. The natural gas pipeline under the Baltic was operating at 40% of capacity from June onwards, providing some 67 million cubic meters per day. The initial supply reduction occurred due to the delayed return of gas turbines after scheduled maintenance in Canada, resulting from Ottawa's sanctions against Russia. In July, supplies through the pipeline dropped to 20%, as the remaining turbines required an overhaul. Earlier this week, supplies were entirely halted for a scheduled three-day maintenance break, and Gazprom later announced an indefinite shutdown, after an engine oil leak was found in the turbine.
Several EU politicians have accused Moscow of using gas exports as a geopolitical weapon, a claim denied by the Kremlin. Earlier this week, Moscow said only Western sanctions are preventing Nord Stream 1 from working at full capacity. This comes after repeated warnings from Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller that sanctions would obstruct Siemens Energy from carrying out maintenance of the pipeline’s equipment.
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