Problems with pumping through the Nord Stream pipeline arose due to sanctions imposed against Russia by Western countries, including Germany and the United Kingdom, said Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov. According to him, “there are no other reasons that would lead to problems with pumping.” He said the pipeline would resume operation if sanctions were lifted.
During a press conference, Peskov said that the sanctions “bring absolute – legal, practical – confusion to what is related to the maintenance” of Nord Stream. He recalled that now the pipeline has “one unit left working – and that one is malfunctioning, and there are ongoing breakdowns.” “Now, due to the sanctions, these opportunities for redundancy have disappeared, and in fact, everything depends on this one unit, which already needs serious maintenance,” he says.
The Kremlin spokesman responded to a clarifying question about whether the Nord Stream pipeline will resume flowing if sanctions are lifted:
Absolutely. The very sanctions that prevent us from servicing the units, that prevent us from moving them without appropriate legal guarantees, that prevent us from giving legal guarantees. It is these very sanctions that Western states have imposed that have brought the situation to what we are seeing now.
Nord Stream was shut down for repairs on August 31 and planned to resume pumping on September 3. On September 2 Gazprom announced that Nord Stream would shut down for an indefinite period of time due to an oil leak detected. Against this background, the price of gas in Europe rose by more than 30%. At the same time, European countries continue to increase gas pumping into their storage facilities, despite the decrease in supplies from Russia. For Gazprom, a supply cut means lower production.