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Russia-Ukraine Tensions

Again, Russia Shut Down Nord Stream 1 Gas Pipeline To Europe

 

The Russia has now completely stopped gas supplies to Europe countries via a huge and important pipeline “Nord stream 1”, saying ot will undergo some repairs.

According to the Russian state-owned energy giant, “Gazprom”, said the restrictions on the “Nord Stream 1 pipeline” would last for the period of three days.

Remember, Russia has since reduced gas exportation through the big pipeline.

However, It denies allegations saying it has used energy supplies as a weapon of war against Western countries.

The “Nord Stream 1” pipeline stretches 1,200km (745 miles) under the Baltic Sea from the Russian coast near St Petersburg to north-eastern Germany.

It was opened in 2011, and can have the capacity of sending a maximum of 170 million cubic metres of gas on a daily basis from Russia to Germany.

It will be recalled that the pipeline was shut down for a period of 10 days in July – again for repairs, according to Russia – and has recently been working at just 20% capacity because of what Russia describes as faulty of equipment on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

Read Also: Russia halts gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria 

The president of Germany’s network regulator said the country will be able to cope with it- if Russia resumes delivery in the coming days.

“I assume that we will be able to cope with it,” Klaus Mueller told Reuters reporters. “I trust that Russia will return to 20% on Saturday, but no one can really say.”

The European leaders are in doubt and fear that Russia could extend the outage in an attempt to hike gas prices, which have already risen sharply in the past year.

Furthermore, today’s announcement wasn’t expected to impact prices immediately. The UK’s main natural gas price was in fact down by more than 15% on markets, as of 14:00 BST on Wednesday.

The steep rise threatens to create a cost of living crisis over the winter months, potentially forcing governments to spend billions to ease the burden.

On Tuesday, French Energy Transition Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher accused Russia of “using gas as a weapon of war”.

She was speaking after Gazprom said it would suspend gas deliveries to the French energy company Engie.

But Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has rejected the accusations – and insisted that Western sanctions have caused the interruptions by damaging Russian infrastructure.

He insisted that that “technological problems” caused by sanctions are the only thing preventing Russia from supplying gas via the pipeline, without specifying what the problems were.

The most recent controversy has been over a turbine which arrived in Germany after being repaired in Canada and which Russia refused to take back, arguing it was subject to the Western sanctions.

Germany, however, denies this.

Earlier this month, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said the pipeline was fully operational and said there were no technical issues as claimed by Russia.

Earlier this week, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised to intervene in energy markets, telling a conference in Slovenia that they are “no longer fit for purpose”.

“We need a new market model for electricity that really functions and brings us back into balance,” she said.

Before the war started, Germany had supported, though not certified, the €10bn (£8.4bn) Nord Stream 2 pipeline – which runs parallel to its namesake – but halted operations after Russia sent troops into Ukraine in February.

Just last week,  BBC report revealed that Russia has been burning off an estimated $10m (£8.4m) worth of gas every day at a plant near the Finnish border.

 

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Ukraine War: Kyiv’s Allies Pledge More Weapons To Help Win War

 

Ukrainian soldier stands guard close to the front line with Russian troops near Kharkiv
Ukraine’s allies have pledged to send more weapons to help it defend against a renewed Russian offensive.

The US and other allies vowed to send artillery, anti-tank and air defence aid to Kyiv, during a 90-minute video call on Tuesday.

Ukraine says it needs the weapons to help defend itself as Russia launches a new campaign in the country’s east.

Clashes there have marked what Ukraine leader Volodymyr Zelensky said was the start of the “battle for the Donbas”.

“This will become an artillery conflict,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in parliament after the meeting with other leaders.

“They [Ukraine] need support with more artillery, that is what we will be giving them.”

Speaking to reporters in New Hampshire, US president Joe Biden confirmed that Washington would also be sending Ukraine more artillery – heavy guns deployed in land warfare.

In Berlin, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany was providing finance to enable Ukraine to buy anti-tank weapons and ammunition from German arms manufacturers.

“The aim is to strengthen the Ukrainian military such that it can push back the Russian attack,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic said it would repair Ukrainian tanks and armoured vehicles when they are damaged in combat.

The allies also discussed “coordinated efforts to impose severe economic costs to hold Russia accountable,” the White House said.

“We will further tighten our sanctions against Russia,” vowed EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen – although no further details were provided.

The arms pledges follow a renewed call from President Zelensky for allies to increase their weapons supplies to Kyiv.

“We need heavy artillery, armed vehicles, air defence systems and combat aircraft — anything to repel Russian forces and stop their war crimes.” Mr Zelensky said on Twitter last week. “Nobody will stop Russia except Ukraine with heavy weapons”.

Earlier this week the first shipments of a fresh $800m (£615m) US military aid package arrived at the Ukrainian border – aid which Russia fiercely opposes.

“The United States and Western states under its control are doing everything to drag out the military operation for as long as possible,” Russia’s defence chief Sergei Shoigu said.

Others on Tuesday’s virtual meeting included France’s Emmanuel Macron, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg as well as the leaders of Italy, Japan and Poland.

The leaders also discussed how to provide security guarantees to Ukraine after the war even if it is not a member of Nato, a French presidential advisor said.

Nato is a military alliance whose 30 members – including the US, UK and Germany – have agreed to come to one another’s aid in the event of an armed attack against any one of them.

Because Ukraine is not a Nato member, the alliance isn’t obliged to come to its defence.

Its members fear that involving themselves in direct armed confrontation could lead to an all-out conflict between Russia and the West.

Instead, Nato members have supplied Ukraine with millions of dollars worth of military aid since Russia launched the invasion.

 

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