AP

Putin warns EU that gas supplies could keep dwindling

Jul 19, 2022, 3:14 AM | Updated: 4:22 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a joint news conference with Iranian President Ebrahim Rai...

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a joint news conference with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following their talks at the Saadabad palace, in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, July 19, 2022. (Grigory Sysoev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

(Grigory Sysoev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that the flow of Russian natural gas to European customers has dwindled due to the West’s own fault and warned that it could continue ebbing.

Putin’s statement further cranked up pressure on the European Union, which fears Russia could cut off gas to wreak economic and political havoc in Europe in the winter.

Speaking to Russian reporters in Tehran, where he attended the talks with the leaders of Iran and Turkey, Putin said the amount of gas pumped through the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany will fall further from 60 million to 30 million cubic meters a day, or about one fifth of its capacity, if a turbine isn’t quickly replaced.

He added that Russia could launch the recently completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline that has never entered service, but noted that it would only have half of its designated capacity because the rest has been used for domestic needs.

The Russian leader also warned the West that its plan to cap the prices of Russian oil as part of its sanctions over Ukraine will destabilize the global oil market and make prices soar.

“We are hearing some crazy ideas about restricting the volumes of Russian oil and capping the Russian oil price,” he said. “The result will be the same — a rise in prices. Prices will skyrocket.”

Since Russian troops rolled into Ukraine in February, the EU has approved bans on Russian coal and most oil to take effect later this year but did not include natural gas because the 27-nation bloc depends on it to power factories, generate electricity and heat homes.

However, Russia’s Gazprom state-controlled natural gas giant reduced gas deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany by 60% last month, citing technical problems after a turbine that Siemens sent to Canada for overhaul couldn’t be returned because of sanctions. Canada and Germany made a deal to return the turbine, but Putin said Tuesday that Gazprom still hasn’t received the relevant documents.

The Russian leader said that Gazprom was to shut another turbine for repairs in late July, and if the one that was sent to Canada isn’t returned by that time the flow of gas will ebb even more.

He also pointed out at Ukraine closing a branch of a transit pipeline carrying the Russian gas to the West that comes via the territory controlled by Moscow-backed separatists as another reason behind the dwindling Russian gas flow to Europe.

German and other European leaders have rejected the Russian arguments, saying the reductions in gas supplies were political. The EU fears that Russia will cut off gas to try to wreak economic and political havoc in Europe this winter.

Putin, in turn, insisted that “Gazprom has always fulfilled and will fulfill all of its obligations,” charging that “our partners are trying to shift the blame for their own mistakes to Gazprom without any basis.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

3 days ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

5 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

6 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

6 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

7 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

8 days ago

Putin warns EU that gas supplies could keep dwindling