Alexander Novak, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, stated Monday that Russia could reduce natural gas supplies to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
Novak stated that Russia has made unfounded allegations about Russia in relation to the European energy crisis and the imposition of a ban on Nord Stream 2. He also said that an embargo would be imposed on gas flowing through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
Russia has maintained for years that it does not use natural gas as a weapon. However, the United States and other countries have warned Europe that Russia’s dependence on Russia for large amounts of its natural gas supplies could enable Russia to weaponize that gas.
Despite Russia’s new threats, these warnings appear to be well-founded today.
U.S. lawmakers believe Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is currently complete but not flowing gas, would further place Europe under Russia’s control regarding energy security. Germany, which is already heavily dependent on Russia for its natural gas, ruled last Oct that the Nord Stream 2 pipe did not pose a security-of-supply risk.
Germany requested that the economic ministry withdraw its binding opinion declaring it not to be a threat. This allowed the country to cancel the pipeline in the wake of Russia’s invasion.
Russia supplies 40% of Europe’s natural gas needs.
If Russia cuts off Nord Stream 1 flow, natural gasoline prices will rise even more in Europe. The record-breaking natural gas prices have reached a new high. They are up 42% over Friday’s close of $293 per MwH.
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