MOSCOW, July 14. /TASS/. Moscow considers any speculation on the halt of Nord Stream gas pipeline inappropriate, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday.
Shutting down Nord Stream for scheduled maintenance is an annual routine, and the work schedule was agreed on with partners, she noted.
"This concerns scheduled maintenance work, which will be carried out from July 11 to July 21. I would like to note that the story did not begin today or this year, this is an annual routine as part of a long-term facility integrity management program to ensure its effective, safe and reliable operation. Also, I would like to stress that the work schedule was agreed on and coordinated in advance with partners in the transportation and supply of gas. In this regard, we reject any speculation on this issue and consider it inappropriate," she said.
"As far as the gas pipeline's future operations are concerned, much will depend on our partners," the diplomat said, noting that this refers to such parameters as the demand for gas and preventing the adverse impact of illegitimate restrictions on the pipeline’s function. "For instance, like with the repair of a Siemens turbine in Canada," the spokeswoman noted.
Since mid-June, the Nord Stream project has been operating at 40% of its maximum capacity due to the delayed return of gas compressor units from maintenance work. One of the turbines built by Siemens Energy in Canada was sent to Montreal for an overhaul. The producer refused to return the repaired turbine to Germany due to Canada’s sanctions against Russia.
On July 9, after numerous requests, Canada decided to return the turbine to Germany. The European Commission said that such actions do not violate sanctions against Russia since these measures do not apply to gas transit equipment.