Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens)
Photo: FILIP SINGER / EPA
Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) considers the recent cuts in gas supplies by the Russian energy company Gazprom to be politically motivated and prescribed by Russia.
In his view, Gazprom's announced throttling of gas supplies via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline was a "political decision".
The procedure is “not technically justifiable”.
On top of that, the danger of further restrictions on energy supplies from Russia is virulent.
"It's not over yet," says Habeck.
Gazprom had announced the day before that gas supplies via the Baltic Sea pipeline would be cut significantly.
Only a transmission of 100 million cubic meters of gas per day can be ensured instead of the usual 167 million cubic meters - that's a reduction of a good 40 percent.
Gazprom cited as one of the reasons for the reduced gas volume that several compressors from the German Siemens group were currently missing at the starting point of the pipeline following repair work.
However, Habeck now emphasized that the maintenance of the compression systems manufactured by Siemens is not subject to the European sanctions against Russia.
The maintenance runs through Canada – his house is in talks “with the Canadians” on the subject.
According to the federal government's knowledge, the first relevant "maintenance tranche" for the compressors will actually only be in the autumn.
Nor would it lead to a 40 percent reduction in the amount of gas passed through.
It can therefore be assumed that the decision was politically motivated.
Impact of Gazprom decision only clear in a few days
Habeck emphasized again that there are no supply problems in Germany.
How the Gazprom decision will affect Europe as a whole is still open.
This will only be clear in two or three days.
The Nord Stream pipeline, commissioned in 2011, is the highest-capacity gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.
It runs from Vyborg in Russia northwest of St. Petersburg to Lubmin in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
According to the operating company, 59.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas were exported from Russia to Europe through the pipeline in 2021.
Russian natural gas deliveries to Europe have fallen significantly since European sanctions against Moscow came into force because of the military intervention in Ukraine.
Gazprom also cut off supplies to several European customers, including Poland and the Netherlands, because they refused to pay for the gas in rubles.
This did not apply to Germany.