Russia is deliberately delaying the process of returning Siemens gas turbines in order to prevent the Nord Stream gas pipeline from being quickly launched at full capacity. This was reported by Reuters, citing sources.
The publication claims that Russia is deliberately delaying the preparation of the necessary documentation, despite the fact that everything is ready for transportation from the German side. Representatives of Gazprom did not provide documents and did not respond to a request about where exactly the turbine should be delivered and through which customs point it should pass. Sources say that due to the uncertainty on the Russian side, the return may be delayed for several days, or even weeks.
Representatives of Siemens Energy admitted in a commentary to the agency that maintenance of turbines usually does not take so much time, it is a routine operation. The company also expressed the hope that the story of the return of the units will end soon.
“Of course, we want to get the turbine to the site as quickly as possible. However, the time it takes is not only up to us,” the company said.
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck admits that Russia is deliberately delaying the process and simply does not want the turbine to be returned to Gazprom. He is convinced that this delay in the process is yet another evidence of Moscow's political blackmail against European consumers.
Back in June, Gazprom reduced the volume of gas supplies via Nord Stream by 60%, allegedly due to the fact that the company does not have enough turbines to pump gas through the pipeline at full capacity. Even then, European politicians claimed that this was not true and that the gas monopoly had every opportunity to fulfill its obligations in full. Russian politicians, including President Vladimir Putin,linked the volume of deliveries to the return of Siemens turbines to Gazprom.
The European Union no longer trusts Russian statements, the main executive body of the association - the European Commission - began to develop a plan in case of a complete halt in gas supplies from Russia. The key idea of the plan - reducing consumption by 15% - has already caused a wave of indignation in Europe, many states were categorically against such a solution to the problem.