German officials have expressed fear that the cut-off of the Russian oil supply from Russia’s Gazprom to a mere 20 percent capacity will lead to a “serious” situation in Germany and the rest of the European Union.
Citing necessary repairs to equipment, Gazprom announced this week it would be reducing the flow of oil to the European Union via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, further escalating an already tense gas supply situation in the EU as the Kremlin’s assault on Ukraine rages on. Tensions between the EU and Russia have resulted in a gas crisis across Europe, where some of the world’s highest gas prices have plagued drivers in recent months.
A German official described the situation as “serious,” as the Nord Stream 1 pipeline is the largest stream of Russian oil to the EU. European officials have accused Russia of using oil as a tool for blackmail in its effort to garner support for what Russia calls a special military operation in Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky called the tensions over oil between Russia and the EU a “gas war” and accused Russia of using oil to “terrorize” Europe.
The oil tensions escalated in the same week a deal was brokered by the United Nations to open a grain corridor from Ukraine to allow some grain supplies to flow back onto the world market. Ukraine, an important bread basket for the world supply, has been cut off from exporting grain since the Russian invasion in February.
Some European leaders say they see no technical need for the alleged equipment repairs, and believe Russia is using the pipeline as a weapon against the EU in retaliation for its support of Ukraine.
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