The European Commission does not believe that Russia will keep its word and resume the operation of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which until recently remained the main route for Russian gas supplies to Europe. Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for Budget and Administration, told Bloomberg about this. He noted that European countries have actually come to terms with the shutdown of the gas pipeline and are preparing for the worst.
“We proceed from the fact that the gas pipeline will not resume operation. Therefore, we need to take additional measures,” the European Commissioner said.
The publication notes that on Wednesday the European Commission will have to present a single action plan in case of a sharp reduction in gas from Russia. It includes a list of recommendations, including voluntary temperature reductions for heating and cooling systems, as well as a number of market mechanisms. Moreover, in the event of an emergency, the European Commission may receive special powers and require countries to forcibly reduce energy consumption.
Russia and the European Union have been arguing in absentia about the work of Nord Stream for several weeks now. The Russian side unilaterally reduced the volume of deliveries through the pipeline to 40% of capacity, explaining this by Europe's refusal to return Siemens turbines from Canada . The European side has accused Gazprom of blackmail, insisting that the existing equipment is sufficient to keep gas flowing 100%. A sharp reduction in supplies through the main gas pipeline from Russia creates additional risks for the passage of the heating period: the volume of gas reserves in storage facilities is not enough, and the dynamics of gas injection in the summer has dropped significantly .
At the same time, the key partners of the Russian monopolist in Nord Stream, Unpier and RWE, admitted on July 18 that they had received a letter from the Russian company warning about "force majeure that could lead to default on obligations." Both companies deny the possibility of cutting off gas supplies from Gazprom, since even the existing turbines are enough to resume full-fledged gas supplies to Europe. The Nord Stream gas pipeline was stopped for scheduled repairs on July 14, and its work should resume on Thursday, July 21.