The Russian energy giant Gazprom has cut off the flow of gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, compounding energy shortages across Europe, which is heavily reliant on Russian fossil fuel. A spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Western sanctions had made it impossible for Russian engineers to maintain components of the pipeline, including a turbine critical to its operation.
Dmitry Peskov: “Pumping problems arose because of sanctions imposed against our country and against a number of companies by Western states, including Germany and the United Kingdom. There are no other reasons that would lead to problems with pumping.”
Gas prices across Europe jumped by over 30% upon news that the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would be closed indefinitely, while the euro sank below the value of the dollar for the first time in nearly two decades. Germany’s government moved to delay the planned closure of two aging nuclear power plants, citing the need to preserve energy supplies. Meanwhile, Sweden’s prime minister is warning of the prospect of a “war winter” ahead due to the shutoff of gas.