Russia has shocked the European countries by linking resumption of gas supply to Europe with removal of Western sanctions against Moscow, the Kremlin said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the sanctions are the sole reason behind Russia’s decision to shut the Nord Stream 1 (NS1) pipeline.
NS1, operational since 2011, is the single biggest gas pipeline carrying gas between Russian and western Europe.
Moscow initially said it was shutting the pipeline, which supplies gas to Europe, for maintenance.
Russia said, “Gas pumping issues arose due to the sanctions against our country and a number of companies by Western states, including Germany and the UK.”
“There are no other reasons that could have caused this pumping problem,” he said.
“Sanctions prevent the units from being serviced, being moved without appropriate legal guarantees … it is these sanctions that have brought the situation to what we see now,” Peskov added.
Peskov’s comments came amid a deepening energy crisis across Europe that was further exacerbated after Gazprom, Russia’s state-run energy giant said that a three-day maintenance work due to an oil leak in one of the NS1’s turbines will extend indefinitely.