The Kremlin said Thursday that Europe’s gas delivery problems were due to “technical difficulties” caused by economic sanctions, as the Nord Stream pipeline reopened after maintenance but with a reduced flow.
“Any technical difficulties linked to this are caused by those restrictions that European countries introduced themselves,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
He said accusations that Moscow was using gas deliveries as political blackmail were “completely” unfounded.
Europe was on edge during the 10-day Nord Stream repair works, fearing that Moscow would not reopen the taps in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Russia for its Ukraine offensive.
Peskov reiterated that Russian state energy giant Gazprom was ready to “fulfil its responsibilities in full” but that Western sanctions “do not allow the repair of equipment” critical for its work.
Russia had blamed the absence of a Siemens gas turbine that was undergoing repairs in Canada.
Peskov the technical reasons were associated “with the impossibility of proper technological maintenance.”
He said sanctions do not allow the proper “repair of equipment” including the “turbines at compressor stations.”
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