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MOSCOW, July 25 (Reuters) – A repaired gas turbine will be installed in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline from Russia to Germany once it is returned after maintenance, and natural gas will then be supplied in “corresponding volumes”, a Kremlin spokesman said on Monday.
Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stopped short of saying supply would increase, noting that further equipment needed to be repaired.
But he sounded a relatively upbeat note after weeks of uncertainty over the turbine repair in Canada, and a 10-day shutdown of Nord Stream 1 for annual maintenance, had sown doubt in Europe over whether Russia might shut the pipeline altogether.
“The turbine will be installed after all the formalities are complete… And the gas will be pumped in the corresponding volumes, the volumes which are technologically possible,” Peskov told reporters.
He was commenting on a report by Kommersant newspaper that Siemens Energy (ENR1n.DE), which had serviced the turbine in Canada, had handed over Canadian documentation to Gazprom which would allow its return. read more
The Kremlin has denied accusations by European politicians that it is using its energy leverage to “blackmail” the European Union, which together with the United States and other Western nations has imposed waves of sanctions on Moscow since it sent its army into Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Gazprom resumed supplies via Nord Stream 1 last week after the 10-day maintenance break, but only at 40% of the pipeline’s capacity.
Russia has said it was forced to lower the volume of gas to that level in June because Western sanctions were delaying the return of the turbine from Canada.
European politicians have challenged that explanation, with Germany saying the turbine in question was not meant to be used until September. read more
Peskov said that there was more Nord Stream 1 equipment that needed repairing and Siemens Energy was aware of that.
He also said that Moscow was not interested in a complete stoppage of Russian gas supplies to Europe, which is in a rush to fill its underground storage with gas before the winter season.
Peskov said Gazprom was not to blame for the storage risks, reiterating Moscow’s line that Europeans are suffering the consequences of sanctions that they themselves imposed against Russia.