Germans urged to use less energy after Russia cut gas supply and prices rise | Economic news

Germans have been urged to save energy after Russia’s Gazprom announced deep cuts in natural gas supply through a key pipeline.

State-owned Gazprom on Tuesday announced a 40% reduction in gas flows to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.

On Wednesday, the reduction was increased to 60%.

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the supply cuts were unpremeditated and linked to maintenance issues.

Gazprom said it was unable to secure the return of equipment sent to Canada for repair due to sanctions imposed by the country during the war in Ukraine.

Russia’s ambassador to the EU told state news agency RIA Novosti that further delays could lead to the complete suspension of flows through the pipeline.

Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller said he saw no solution to the equipment problem affecting the Portovaya compressor station, which is part of the pipeline.

Germany said maintenance should not have been a problem until the fall, calling Russia’s excuse “unsubstantiated”.

Putin “does what we feared”

He accused Russia of trying to drive up gas prices and creating uncertainty.

Wholesale prices for Dutch gas, the European benchmark, jumped around 30% on Thursday afternoon in response to the news.

Russian President Vladimir Putin “is doing what was feared from the start: he is reducing the volume of gas, not suddenly but step by step,” said German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck.

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“No more Russian gas in Lithuania!

He pointed to previous Russian decisions to cut off supplies to Bulgaria, Denmark and other countries.

Mr Habeck, who had already launched a campaign for people to save energy last week, delivered the message after Gazprom’s announcements.

“The gas is coming to Europe – we don’t have a supply problem, but the gas volumes have to be acquired on the market and it will become more expensive,” he said.

He added that the government has implemented a law requiring gas storage to be filled and ready.

He applauded the Germans for their desire to save energy.

“Now is the time to do it,” he said. “Every kilowatt hour helps in this situation. It is a serious situation, but not a situation that endangers the security of supply in Germany.”

Germany is not alone in dealing with dwindling Russian supplies.

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Austria’s OMV said Gazprom informed it of the cut in deliveries, while France’s Engie said flows were down but customers were unaffected.

Italy’s Eni said it would only receive 65% of the volumes it requested from the company due to Portovaya’s problems.

The Italian government said it had drawn up contingency plans in case gas supply cuts continued in the coming days.

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Post expires at 7:57pm on Monday June 27th, 2022