Russia Shuts Off Nord Stream Gas Pipeline to Europe
Russia indefinitely cut off delivery of methane-based gas to Europe, Gazprom said Friday. The state-owned energy company blamed the Nord Stream 1 pipeline shutdown on maintenance issues, just hours after the G-7 announced a joint cap on Russian oil prices, itself an effort to reduce Russia revenue from foreign fossil fuel sales.
The full shut down of Russian gas deliveries is a marked escalation of its leveraging of Europe’s dependence on its methane-based gas in order to prevent a more forceful response to its invasion of and atrocities in Ukraine since late February.
While increased energy prices across Europe have driven up inflation — as European leaders have to obtain energy from non-Russian sources and store up methane gas for the winter — those efforts have reduced Putin’s leverage in the region.
As reported by The Washington Post:
The move comes as Europe is scrambling to confront acute energy disruptions that threaten to leave the continent short of the fuel it needs when temperatures drop… If the pipeline stays offline permanently — and Europe has a particularly cold winter — the economic consequences for Europe and the world would be considerable.
“The concern is if supply gets squeezed, you have to find replacements and there is not enough infrastructure there right now to replace this gas,” said Ruth Liao, who covers liquefied natural gas for ICIS, a commodities research firm.
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