Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday called on Europe to retaliate against Russia’s “gas war” by boosting its sanctions against Moscow.
“Today we heard new gas threats to Europe… This is an open gas war that Russia is waging against a united Europe,” Zelensky said, reacting to Gazprom’s announcement of a new cut in gas deliveries to Europe.
Russia’s state-owned energy giant said it will cut daily gas deliveries to Europe via the Nord Stream pipeline to 33 million cubic metres a day — about 20 percent of the pipeline’s capacity — from Wednesday.
It said it was halting the operation of one of the last two operating turbines due to the “technical condition of the engine”.
The German government said there was no technical justification for Gazprom’s announcement.
Europe is heavily dependent on Russian energy resources, and the West accuses Moscow of using energy as a weapon in retaliation for the sanctions adopted after Russia invaded Ukraine.
In his daily video message, Zelensky said: “They don’t care what will happen to the people, how they will suffer — from hunger due to blocked ports, from winter cold and poverty… or the occupation. These are just different forms of terror”.
“That is why you have to hit back. Do not think about how to bring back the turbine, but strengthen the sanctions,” he said.
Gazprom’s announcement came after Russia last week restored critical gas supplies to Europe through Germany via Nord Stream after 10 days of maintenance, but only at 40 percent of the pipeline’s capacity.
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