ASSESSMENTS

For Europe, Nord Stream 1’s Shutdown Reveals the Risks of Supporting Ukraine

MIN READJul 13, 2022 | 21:39 GMT

An aerial view shows a receiving station for the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline near Lubmin, Germany, on July 11, 2022.

An aerial view shows a receiving station for the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline near Lubmin, Germany, on July 11, 2022.

(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Russia’s reduced exports -- and threat to end -- natural gas supplies to Europe will persist because Moscow hopes they will increase the probability of economic recession on the continent and result in weaker European support for Ukraine. On July 11, natural gas flows on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline (which transports Russian gas under the Baltic Sea directly to Germany) dropped to zero, as the pipeline began an annual scheduled 10-day maintenance period. This year’s planned shutdown comes after Russia’s energy giant Gazprom cut flows on the pipeline to 40% percent of its normal capacity on June 14, citing technical issues including the failure of Germany’s industrial manufacturing conglomerate Siemens to return a turbine under maintenance in Canada. Now, concerns are growing in Europe that Moscow is preparing to blackmail or retaliate against the continent by preventing European states from sufficiently refilling their storage before the winter heating season....

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