Gazprom claims further problems with Nord Stream 1

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Gazprom claims further problems with Nord Stream 1

Russian energy giant Gazprom has complained of ongoing problems with a gas turbine that it says is critical to restoring regular gas flows to Germany, reported dpa.

The turbine was brought from Canada to Germany, rather than directly to Russia, without consultation with Gazprom, the state-owned company's deputy head Vitaly Markelov said in a Friday statement.

He said Moscow could only accept the repaired turbine if it receives guarantees from the EU and Britain that Western sanctions do not apply. Markelov did not explain why Russia could not simply accept the turbine.

The repaired turbine has been the central focus of a weeks-long saga that has seen Russia significantly cut gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, fuelling an energy crisis in Europe.

Germany depends heavily on gas from Russia, and the reduction of supplies in recent days is causing great anxiety about the coming winter and the effects of any shortages on industry and the public.

Berlin has accused Moscow of using the turbine as a pretext to retaliate for sanctions imposed by Western governments for Russia's war on Ukraine, now in its sixth month.

Moscow has repeatedly blamed the missing piece of equipment for the cuts to gas flows and denied it is responding to sanctions.

Berlin has said the turbine is ready to be returned to Russia and that there are no technical reasons to curtail gas supplies.

Markelov said there were still various problems to fix, including three turbines that need to be repaired on site without removal from the compressor station. He pointed to Siemens Energy as responsible for the situation rather than Gazprom.

"We are impatiently awaiting the arrival of their specialists at the compressor station," Markelov said.

Only one of six turbines is currently in operation at the Nord Stream 1 gas compressor station, according to Markelov.

Markelov said Gazprom had written ten letters to Siemens Energy, but only a quarter of the problems described have been resolved.

Gazprom said it would publish part of the communication with Siemens Energy, but did not provide further details.

The Kremlin had said the previous day that Russia hoped for a speedy return and installation of the turbine.

Gazprom has repeatedly accused contractor Siemens Energy of not providing necessary documents and information for the turbine. Siemens Energy has rejected the accusations.

On Wednesday, Gazprom reduced gas flows through Nord Stream 1 to 20% of maximum capacity because, according to the company, one turbine still required maintenance for technical safety reasons.

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