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‘The winter will be long’, the threatening video of the Russian company Gazprom after cutting off gas to Europe

Days after announcing that it was not yet in a position to resume gas supplies through a key pipeline for Germany, the Russian company Gazprom released a threatening and questioned video showing Europe frozen. “Winter will be long”, was the message that emulated the famous phrase from the series Game of Thrones “winter is coming“.

In the video, an operator of the Russian state energy company close a switch and a clock that marks the temperature drops abruptly and it is followed by images of the cold advancing over Europe.

Russian energy giant Gazprom announced Friday that it cannot resume natural gas supplies through a key pipeline to Germany for now, just hours before service was scheduled to resume. Gazprom alleges a need for urgent maintenance work.

Russia’s state-owned energy company had shut down the Nord Stream 1 pipeline on Wednesday for what it said would be three days of work.

The Russian state energy company. Photo: EFE

In a social media post late Friday, he said he had found “flaws” in a turbine, adding that the pipeline would not work unless they were removed.

This is the latest development in a saga in which Gazprom has cited technical problems as a reason for reducing gas flows through Nord Stream 1, explanations that German authorities have rejected as a cover for a political power game after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Gazprom claimed to have detected oil leaks in four turbines at the Portovaya compression station, at the Russian end of the gas pipeline, including the only one in operation. He claimed to have received warnings from Russia’s industrial safety watchdog that the leaks “do not allow safe and trouble-free operation of the gas turbine engine.”

“In connection with this, it is necessary to take appropriate measures and suspend the operation of the … gas compression unit in connection with the identified serious (security) violations,” the company said.

Gazprom began cutting off supply via Nord Stream 1 in mid-June, alleging delays in the delivery of a turbine that had been shipped to Canada for repair. Canada has since authorized delivery of the turbine to Germany, which has said there is nothing to stop it being shipped to Russia unless Russia says it wants the part.

In recent weeks, Nord Stream 1 has been running at just 20% capacity.

Strong questioning of the European Union: “You burn gas”

The European Union (EU) denounced that Russia, through the Nord Stream gas pipeline, “burns gas” since “its deposits are full,” European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, said on Tuesday.

“We see that Russia and its companies use natural gas as a weapon. They cut off the supply to Europe but (…) they don’t have other gas pipelines to other regions of the world, and their underground tanks are full,” the European commissioner told the press during a visit to the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, on the occasion of a G20 meeting on energy.

The European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson.  Photo: AP

The European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson. Photo: AP

He added: “Our satellites have recorded gas leaks and the burning of natural gas, and that is very bad for the environment because methane is the second worst gas in terms of greenhouse gas.”

Europe could face a major gas shortage this winter after Russian giant Gazprom announced on Friday the complete suspension of supplies from the vital Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.

The Kremlin linked the cessation of deliveries to the sanctions imposed by Western countries after their invasion of Ukraine.

On the other hand, and after the EU’s decision to try to almost totally avoid Russian oil, “Russia is looking for new markets and is willing to sell oil products at very low prices to those who want to buy them,” said the European official.

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