Mulheim an der Ruhr. German Chancellor Olaf Schulz said on Wednesday that Russia had no reason to delay the return of a gas turbine to a Nord Stream 1 pipeline that was repaired in Canada but has since been stuck in Germany in an escalating energy struggle.
Standing next to the turbines, Schulz said on a visit to Siemens’ factory in Mülheim an der Ruhr, the turbine is fully operational and can be shipped back to Russia at any time, as long as Moscow is willing to accept it.
The fate of the 12-meter-long turbines is alarming European governments, which have accused Russia of throttling gas supplies under false pretenses in retaliation for Western sanctions that followed the February invasion of Ukraine.
Moscow denies this, citing problems with the turbines as the reason for the reduced gas flow through Nord Stream 1, which has been reduced to 20 percent of capacity.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov questioned Scholz’s comments, blaming a lack of documentation for delaying the return of turbines to Russia.
He also pointed to the possibility of Europe getting gas via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a Moscow-led project that was halted by the West when Russia sent troops into Ukraine.
While Gazprom argued that the return of the Nord Stream 1 turbine to Russia is “impossible”, due to sanctions imposed on Moscow over the invasion of Ukraine.
“Sanctions applied in Canada, the European Union and the United Kingdom, as well as inconsistencies in the current situation with Siemens’ contractual obligations, make such a delivery impossible,” Gazprom said in a statement.
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