”We cannot rely on commitments from Gazprom,” German vice chancellor says

Germany and EU countries need to remain prepared in case Russia decides to turn off the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline tap, German Vice Chancellor and Energy Minister Robert Habeck said on Thursday, just hours after gas started flowing again at around 40% of the pipeline’s maximum capacity.

”We cannot rely on commitments from Gazprom,” Habeck said Thursday via video call on Nord Stream 1 and Germany’s gas situation, after Gazprom, the Russian state energy giant, resumed gas shipments through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline from Russia into Germany on Thursday.

”Gas supplies of 40% are not enough for the upcoming winter,” Habeck went on to say. ”Russia uses a too big power to blackmail Europe and Germany.”

Gas shipments via Nord Stream 1 have fallen by 60% in recent weeks, while an annual maintenance period from July 11 to July 21 reduced gas flows to zero. On Thursday, Gazprom restarted the gas flows at the same lower level as before the pipeline was shut down for maintenance works.

In June, Habeck said that Germany would struggle to fill up its gas storage tanks before cold weather arrives if the gas pipeline Nord Stream 1 does not become fully operational again, raising the likelihood of energy rationing.

To that end, Habeck urged Germans to take shorter showers to save energy and called on industry and consumers to turn down the heating this winter.

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