Putin threatens further reduction of gas supplies to Europe

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Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened on Tuesday (07.19.2022) to apply a further reduction in Russian gas supplies to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, according to statements made to Russian journalists in Iran.

Putin said that the flow of Russian natural gas to European customers has decreased “because of the West” and warned that it could continue to decline.

His statement increased pressure on the EU, which fears Russia could cut off gas and wreak economic and political havoc in Europe over the winter.

Putin, who attended a meeting in Tehran with his counterparts from Iran and Turkey, said that the amount of gas pumped through the Nord Stream gas pipeline to Germany is 30 to 60 million cubic meters a day, that is, one-fifth part of its capacity if a turbine is not replaced quickly.

The Kremlin chief also warned the West that his plan to cap Russian oil prices, as part of his sanctions over Ukraine, will destabilize the global oil market and cause prices to skyrocket.

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

However, Putin said that the gas company Gazprom “fulfilled, continues to comply and will fully comply with its obligations, if someone needs it”, while calling on Western powers to lift restrictions on the export of Russian grain.

“We will facilitate the export of grain from Ukraine but we proceed from the fact that all restrictions on air shipments for the export of Russian grain will be lifted,” he said.

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Since Russian troops entered Ukraine in February, the EU has approved restrictions on Russian coal and most oil, which will take effect at the end of 2022, although this year it did not include natural gas because the 27-nation bloc it depends on it to power factories, generate electricity and ensure home heating.

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