Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov blamed Western sanctions for halted gas supply to Europe.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, he stressed that operation of Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline depends on the lifting of sanctions against Russia, according to The Guardian reporting.
Peskov pointed out that, besides sanctions “introduced against our country by Western countries including Germany and the UK,” there are no obstacles to resumption of full operation of the pipeline.
“It is these sanctions imposed by the Western states that have brought the situation to what we see now,” he stated according to Russian news agency Interfax.
Russian energy company Gazprom reported on Friday that gas flow through the Nord Stream 1 was stopped due to a malfunction and stressed that suspension of supply would be extended indefinitely.
The company previously pointed out that Western sanctions disrupted operation of the pipeline, noting that German industry group Siemens could not repair gas turbines due to sanctions.
The EU objects to Gazprom’s claims, accusing Moscow of weaponising natural gas supply in response to sanctions.
According to Gazprom, the gas turbine at Portovaya compressor station is leaking engine oil and is no longer in compliance with safety requirements, stressing that gas supply cannot resume before the turbine is repaired.
The company warned that the compressor station was a “hazardous production facility” and stressed that it cannot be operated legally in its current state.
Gazprom added that, according to Siemens, “the causes of oil leakage can only be eliminated by a specialised repair company.”
On the other hand, Siemens stressed on Saturday that oil leaks usually do not affect operation of gas turbines and added that oil leaks can usually be sealed on site.
Commenting on the situation in Europe, Peskov noted on Monday that it was getting “worse for people, businessmen and companies.”
“Of course, ordinary people in these countries will have more and more questions for their leaders,” he predicted.
German power utility Uniper commented on halted gas flow on Monday and predicted that Germany will have to resort to gas rationing.The company confirmed that it is considering legal action against Gazprom over the stoppage.