Russia resumed pumping gas via its biggest pipeline to Europe on Thursday after a 10-day outage. The operator said, allaying Europe’s immediate winter supply fears after President Vladimir Putin; had warned that flows could be cut further or stopped.
Supplies via Nord Stream 1, which runs under the Baltic Sea to Germany, were halted for maintenance on July 11. But, even before that outage, flows had been cut to 40% of the pipeline’s capacity in a dispute prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Thursday’s flows were back at that 40% capacity level, Nord Stream figures showed.
The supply disruptions have hampered European efforts to refill gas storage for winter; raising the risk of rationing and another hit to fragile economic growth if Moscow further limits flows; in retaliation for Western sanctions over war in Ukraine.
‘ENERGY AS A WEAPON’
“Russia is blackmailing us. Russia is using energy as a weapon,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said; adding that Europe had to prepare for the worst now.
European states have been chasing alternative supplies, although the global gas market was stretched even before the Ukraine crisis. With demand for the fuel recovering from the pandemic-induced downturn.