The United States lashes out at Putin for cutting off gas to Europe again

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The United States attacked Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday for “using energy as a weapon” by suspending gas supplies to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.

“President Putin is once again using energy as a weapon,” White House spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

The Russian state consortium Gazprom (MCX: GAZP ) suspended from today until next Saturday the supply of gas to Europe through the Nord Stream gas pipeline for “routine maintenance work”, just when the countries accelerate the filling of their reserves for the winter and implement energy saving plans.

The European Union (EU) assures that it is now better prepared than a few months ago when it had to face Gazprom’s cuts on several fronts, not only through the Nord Stream gas pipeline.

In fact, the EU’s gas stores are above 80% capacity, just the reference threshold that the bloc had set to guarantee a certain level of supply in autumn and winter.

Kirby attributed part of Europe’s better preparation to the working group that US President Joe Biden created in March with the EU to look for alternative ways to get gas to the old continent, including exports from the United States of liquefied natural gas (LNG). ).

Since March, LNG exports to Europe have risen more than 60% compared to the same period last year, with the US accounting for two-thirds of that increase, Kirby noted.

So far, Moscow has completely or partially closed gas flows to twelve EU member countries and Germany fears that it will definitively cut off the Nord Stream 1 tap.

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That pipeline was already pumping at much less capacity than it has with about 230 million cubic meters a week compared to the 1.2 billion it used to transport, according to the Bruegel think tank.

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