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Kremlin points to EU sanctions as cause for Nord Stream pipeline quandary

Speaking about Nord Stream being frozen for several days, Dmitry Peskov recalled that only one unit is operating there

MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Russia-targeted sanctions imposed by the EU have led to the suspension of the Nord Stream pipeline.

"It is actually their own sanctions that brought Europeans to this situation (temporary halt of the Nord Stream pipeline - TASS)," he told reporters on Wednesday.

Earlier on Wednesday, Gazprom fully stopped the pipeline’s operation to repair its units.

Peskov reiterated that Russia and Gazprom as a supplier have been and still remain committed to their contractual obligations.

"But now they simply cannot fulfill them because of these restrictions and sanctions that the EU and the UK have imposed," he explained.

Speaking about Nord Stream being frozen for several days, the Kremlin official recalled that only one unit is operating there, while the pipeline requires routine maintenance which must be carried out on schedule.

"There are problems with conducting routine maintenance, and Gazprom has also repeatedly explained this," Peskov pointed out.

He reiterated that right now only one turbine is functioning, and the rest either needs to be repaired or have already been repaired, but cannot be installed and launched due to the lack of the required legal registration.

The Kremlin spokesman noted that the maintenance of these units is carried out by the British division of Siemens, which is located in the UK and operates under British law.

"We are aware of the sanctions. Without proper legal guarantees that these sanctions will not apply, it is impossible to perform any act of manipulation with the turbines," he stressed.

Nord Stream pipeline maintenance saga

Earlier, Gazprom reported that the supply of Russian gas through the Nord Stream pipeline was completely stopped, and starting from August 31, the sole gas-compressor unit remaining in operation at the Portovaya compressor station is scheduled to undergo repair work. Gas pumping will not be carried out from 04:00 Moscow time on August 31 to 04:00 Moscow time on September 3. The suspension of deliveries is required for repairs and preventive maintenance, yet once completed and if the equipment is free of technical malfunctions, gas transportation will be restored at 33 million cubic meters per day, Gazprom noted.