According to an EU energy chief, Russia’s Gazprom’s reduction in gas flow is “politically motivated.”

Kadri Simson, the European Commissioner for Energy, said on Tuesday that Gazprom’s most recent announcement to further reduce flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline is a “politically motivated step” before a meeting with EU energy ministers in Brussels.

“There is no technical reason to do so. This is a politically motivated step, and we have to be ready for that” Simson argued.

“And exactly for that reason, the pre-emptive reduction of our gas demand is a wise strategy” she added.

These remarks follow the announcement on Monday by Russia’s government owned energy company, Gazprom, that it will significantly decrease gas flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline beginning on Wednesday due to the closure of another turbine for repairs. The pipeline is crucial as it connects Russia’s vast gas resources to Europe through routes in Germany.

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Gazprom recently revealed in a statement that the daily capacity starting at “7:00 am(Moscow time) July 27 will be up to 33 million cubic metres.” It is well known that the daily capacity of Nord Stream 1 is approximately 160 million cubic metres.

The astonishing announcement from Gazprom, according to Simson, “underlined once again that we have to be ready for the possible supply cuts from Russia at any time.”

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She went on to say: “We have to take care of our preparedness; we have to tackle this crisis right now and together. And by doing so, we will reduce our demand pre-emptively”.

Simson added that, by late Tuesday, she anticipates EU ministers to have “a political agreement.”

The European Commission unveiled its strategy last week to cut the amount of gas used throughout Europe by 15% till next spring.

Czech Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Sikela, whose nation currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU, also severely warned that a cut is necessary because Russian President Vladimir Putin “will continue to play his dirty games in misusing and blackmailing gas supplies.”

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The reduction in supplies from Gazprom “is just another…proof that we have to take the game in our own hands and we have to reduce the dependencies on Russian supplies as soon as possible,” he continued.

Last year, Russia accounted for roughly 40% of EU gas imports.

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