ARCHIV - 11.01.2022, Berlin: Robert Habeck (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), Bundesminister für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz, stellt in der Bundespressekonferenz Sofortmaßnahmen für die Klimaziele der Bundesregierung vor. (zu dpa «Habeck wirft Putin bei Gaslieferung «perfides Spiel» vor») Foto: Kay Nietfeld/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The Russian gas company Gazprom further cuts supplies through the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 1. From July 27 (Wednesday), at 6:00 a.m. CEST, 20 percent or 33 million cubic meters of gas would still flow daily through the most important supply pipeline to Germany, the company announced on Monday.

The reason is the repair of another turbine, according to Gazprom. Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck doubts this and has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of a “perfidious game”: “There are no technical reasons for the delivery cuts. The turbine is ready for delivery to Russia,” the Greens politician told the German Press Agency on Monday.

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The export documents of the manufacturer Siemens Energy are complete, but Russia refuses to issue the import documents. “Russia breaks treaties and blames others.”

Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin threatened last week that there could be a further cut in gas supplies via Nord Stream 1 around July 26. He had referred to turbines used by the Russian energy company.

According to this, a throttling is possible if a turbine repaired in Canada is not available again in time. Another turbine should therefore be sent out for repairs around July 26th.

According to Siemens Energy, the transport of a turbine for the Baltic Sea pipeline has been prepared and could start immediately. The company announced this on Monday evening. “What is missing, however, are the necessary customs documents for importing into Russia,” it said in a statement. This information could only be provided by the customer.

The maintenance of the turbines is routine, stressed Siemens Energy. There have been “no significant complications” in the past ten years. The Canadian government’s current approval also stipulates that further Siemens Energy turbines can be serviced in Montreal and then exported. “We therefore see no connection between the turbine and the implemented or announced gas throttling at this point in time.”

“Putin is playing a perfidious game,” said Habeck. His strategy is transparent. “He is trying to weaken the huge support for Ukraine and drive a wedge in our society. In return, it fuels uncertainty and drives up prices. We oppose this with unity and focused action. We take precautions so that we can get through the winter.”

However, Habeck once again emphasized the seriousness of the situation. “We are in a serious situation. It’s also time that everyone understood that,” he said on Monday evening in the ARD “Tagsthemen”. Germany must reduce gas consumption. “We’re working on that.” The measures would have to be implemented consistently. The country must stand together and say: “Yes, (Kremlin chief Vladimir) Putin has the gas, but we have the power.”

Gas will follow – for example from the Netherlands and Norway, said Habeck. “Now it depends on how economical we are,” he said of possible scenarios for the winter.

Supply to industry would be reduced in the event of a gas shortage before private households or protected infrastructure such as hospitals would suffer gas reductions. “It is of course a big concern, which I also share, that this can happen,” he admitted. Then there will no longer be certain production chains in Germany or in Europe. “It is important to avoid this with all our strength.” To do this, gas consumption in Germany must be reduced by 15 to 20 percent.

The federal government has been implementing a precautionary plan for months, which was supplemented by an energy security package last week. “From building an LNG infrastructure at extremely high speed to filling the storage facilities and reducing consumption – we are working on this with all our might. One thing is clear: gas consumption has to go down, the storage tanks have to be filled. The Federal Government is doing whatever is necessary for this.”

The Federal Network Agency also sees no technical reason for the renewed reduction in the gas supply volume. “We have taken note of the announcement,” said a spokeswoman for the authority on Monday evening.

The Federal Network Agency is closely monitoring the situation in close cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the gas crisis team. “According to our information, there is no technical reason for a reduction in deliveries,” she said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky sees the further throttling of Russian gas supplies to Europe as a form of Moscow’s “terror” against the West. “And this is an open gas war that Russia is unleashing against a united Europe,” said Zelenskyy in his evening video message on Monday.

Russia is deliberately making it difficult for Europe to prepare for the winter. The country is showing once again that it is not interested in the fate of the people. The country is making people starve due to the blockade of Ukrainian grain exports and suffer from the cold, poverty and occupation. “These are just different forms of terror,” said Zelenskyj, referring to the announcement by the Russian gas company Gazprom.

This is another threat for Europe, said Selenskyj. That is why the West must strike back. Instead of thinking about returning the gas turbine that has already been repaired, sanctions against Russia should be further tightened, he said.

“Do everything possible to reduce Russia’s revenues not only from gas and oil, but also from other exports that remain,” said Zelenskyy. He warned that any further trade relationship is a “potential means of pressure on Russia”. Russia has long had a reputation for using its gas as a “geopolitical weapon.”

The announcement of lower supplies by Russia has caused natural gas prices to rise significantly. On Monday, the futures contract TTF, which is regarded as trend-setting, rose to 175 euros per megawatt hour on the energy exchange in the Netherlands. That is an increase of 7.7 percent compared to Friday.

The problem of the gas supply in Germany also set back the Dax somewhat in late trading on Monday. The leading German index closed 0.33 percent lower at 13,210.32 points.

The Ifo business climate published in the morning was weak, but did not stand in the way of the Dax on its way to interim price gains. The MDax of medium-sized companies ended the first trading day of the week down 0.54 percent to 26,632.66 points.

The energy ministers of the EU states will advise on Tuesday (09.30 a.m.) about a possible stop in the supply of gas from Russia. The focus of the special meeting in Brussels should be the preparation for such an emergency.

Last week, the EU Commission presented an emergency plan that should make it possible to set mandatory savings targets in the event of a gas emergency. Initially, however, the EU countries should voluntarily consume significantly less gas between August 2022 and March 2023.

Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) is expected to attend the meeting. During the energy crisis, he called for European solidarity because Germany is heavily dependent on Russian gas.

However, the Commission’s plans are highly controversial. Above all, they encounter resistance from southern countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece. Diplomats therefore expect a number of exceptions.

The European Union and especially Germany are heavily dependent on Russian gas. The markets fear a complete end to gas supplies, which would weigh heavily on the European economy.

Gas deliveries via the currently most important connection to Germany for Russian natural gas were only resumed on Thursday after a ten-day routine maintenance. As early as June, Gazprom had reduced deliveries via the pipeline to 40 percent of maximum capacity and referred to the turbine being sent to Canada for repairs. The federal government considers this to be a pretext. (dpa)