With natural gas supplies from Russia becoming variable and unreliable even before the war in Ukraine started, Europe has been plunged into its worst energy crisis in decades. These supplies have now completely stopped.
Russia asserts that the West's punishing economic sanctions against it are to blame for the permanent suspension of gas shipments through Europe's main pipeline.
According to Russian state news agency Interfax, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that the sanctions put in place by Western nations like Germany and the United Kingdom against the nation and a number of industries were to blame for the pumping issues.
Asked whether pumping gas via Nord Stream 1 was completely dependent on the sanctions and that supplies would resume if these were lifted or relaxed, Peskov replied, “Of course. The very sanctions that prevent the maintenance of units, which prevent them from moving without appropriate legal guarantees, which prevent these legal guarantees from being given, and so on.”
“It is precisely these sanctions that the Western states have introduced that have brought the situation to what we see now,” Peskov added.
Such statements, which came directly from the Kremlin, are the most convincing proof yet that Russia is trying to persuade Europe to withdraw the economic sanctions imposed on it as retaliation for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in order to reopen the water taps in time for winter.
The 27-nation bloc's main energy provider, Russia, has been charged by European legislators numerous times with weaponizing its energy exports in an effort to raise commodities prices and spread unease. Moscow denies using energy as a weapon.
The last remaining compressor at Russia's state-owned energy behemoth Gazprom is undergoing maintenance, which is why all shipments through Nord Stream 1 were stopped as of August 31.
The pipeline was set to reopen in three days, but on Friday, Gazprom shut it down permanently owing to an oil spill. The shocking news was released just after the G-7 economic giants backed a plan to control the price of Russian oil in a joint statement.