Dmitry Peskov, Russian presidential press secretary and deputy chairman of the Presidential Administration, stated that resumption of gas supplies through the Nord Stream pipeline is tied to the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions. These sanctions, according to the official, prevent the Russian side from properly maintaining the gas turbines needed to supply gas to Europe. Peskov's words are quoted by Interfax.
“Problems with pumping have arisen because of the sanctions that have been imposed against our country and against a number of companies by Western states, including Germany and Great Britain. There are no other reasons that would lead to problems with pumping,” the official claims.
Peskov assures that Gazprom has only one unit left which “keeps malfunctioning and breaking down, which stops the process of pumping.” The press secretary of the Russian president insists that Western restrictions “have brought about absolute confusion, both legal and practical, into what is related to the maintenance of all assemblies and units” of the Nord Stream pipeline. He also expressed hope that the only gas turbine that was used to pump gas until recently will be repaired and restored to operation.
“The sanctions that prevent the units from being serviced, that prevent them from being moved without proper legal guarantees, that prevent those legal guarantees from being issued, and so on, it is these sanctions imposed by Western states that have brought the situation to what we are seeing now,” the official claims.
The European side is sure that Gazprom and the Russian authorities intentionally use far-fetched pretexts about the pipeline’s technical problems in order not to supply gas to Europe and use gas exports as an instrument of putting pressure on the EU because of its support of Ukraine. Moreover, the German company Siemens, which owns the gas turbines for the pipeline, has repeatedly stated that the Russian side deliberately refuses to accept the turbines under various legal excuses.
Gazprom halted the operation of the Nord Stream pipeline on August 31. Initially, the pipeline was expected to resume operation on September 3, but the Russian side later said it had to stop pumping for an indefinite period.