Russia's Gazprom slashes natural gas flow to Germany

European officials have accused Russia of 'using energy as a weapon'

Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom made another cut to natural gas flows to Germany on Monday, reducing supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to just 20%. 

The pipeline had reopened at 40% capacity last week after being down for 10 days for scheduled maintenance. 

Gazprom has partially blamed the reduced capacity on a turbine that was sent to Canada for repairs in June. Sanctions placed on Russia by the West initially impeded the return of that turbine, but Canada allowed it to be sent back to Germany earlier this month. 

Oil pipeline Nord Stream 1

The Nord Stream 1 pipeline connects Russia to Europe started pumping oil again on the morning of July 21 following a closure for maintenance.  (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber / AP Newsroom)

Gazprom said in a statement on Monday that it received documents issued by Canadian authorities on the turbine, but "after studying the documents, Gazprom had to conclude that they do not eliminate the previously identified risks and give rise to additional questions." 

"In addition, the issues regarding the sanctions imposed by the EU and the UK remain unsolved for Gazprom," the gas giant said. 


Siemens Energy, which maintains the turbines, said that it "sees no link between the turbine and the gas cuts that have been implemented or announced."

"The maintenance of our turbines is and remains a routine procedure. During the last 10 years of maintenance there have been no significant complications," a Siemens Energy spokesperson told Fox Business in a statement Monday. 

Nord Stream 1

Pipes at the landfall facilities of the 'Nord Stream 1' gas pipeline are pictured in Lubmin, Germany, March 8, 2022. ( Reuters/Hannibal Hanschke / Reuters Photos)

Europe is heavily reliant on Russian energy, importing about 40% of its gas and 30% of its oil from Russia. 

German and European officials have accused the Kremlin of trying to drive up energy prices through the cuts to natural gas flows. 

"Russia is blackmailing us. Russia is using energy as a weapon. And therefore, in any event, whether it's a partial major cutoff of Russian gas or total cutoff of Russian gas, Europe needs to be ready," European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said last week. 


Putin, meanwhile, warned earlier this month of "catastrophic consequences" for the global energy market if Western sanctions on Russia continue amid the invasion of Ukraine. 

"Sanctions restrictions on Russia cause much more damage to those countries that impose them," Putin said earlier this month at a meeting of Russia's oil and gas leaders. 

Reuters contributed to this report.