Russian lawmaker urges Europe to revive Nord Stream 2 to solve energy crisis

Russian lawmaker urges Europe to revive Nord Stream 2 to solve energy crisis
Russian lawmaker urges Europe to revive Nord Stream 2 to solve energy crisis

Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin attends a Victory Day military parade, which marks the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, in Red Square, in the center of Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2022. REUTERS / Maxim Shemetov

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  • This content was produced in Russia where the law limits coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine

MOSCOW, Sept 2 (Reuters) – Europe could solve its energy crisis by lifting sanctions on Russia and launching the mothballed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament said on Friday.

Germany halted the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project in the Baltic Sea on February 22, just two days before Russia sent its troops to Ukraine in what it calls a “special military operation”, and after the Kremlin has officially recognized two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine.

Some Europeans have voluntarily reduced their energy consumption, including limiting their use of electrical appliances and showering at work to save money, as businesses brace for possible rationing. Read more

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Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, said energy security is impossible without Russia.

“The moment of truth has come for European leaders. They have two ways out of the situation they created for themselves,” he wrote on Telegram.

“The first. Lift the illegal sanctions against our country and launch Nord Stream 2. The second. Leave everything as it is, which will cause economic problems and make life even more difficult for citizens.”

Europe’s most controversial energy project, costing $11 billion, was completed in September 2021, but has lain dormant pending certification by Germany and the European Union.

Moscow’s military actions in Ukraine have triggered sweeping sanctions from the West, led to a cut in Russia’s energy supplies and fueled inflation across the world to multi-year highs.

Gas supply through the still-operational Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, which runs parallel to Nord Stream 2 on the Baltic Sea bed, has shrunk to a fifth of normal capacity and was completely shut down on Wednesday for a maintenance outage of three days due to end Saturday.

Russia has cited faulty or delayed equipment as the main reason for the reduction in deliveries via Nord Stream 1. The West has accused Russia of using the energy as a tool for political coercion, which Moscow denies.

Russian gas giant Gazprom (GAZP.MM) owns the entire Nord Stream 2 pipeline but has paid half the cost, with the rest shared by Shell (SHEL.L), Austria’s OMV (OMVV.VI), the French Engie (ENGIE.PA) and Uniper (UN01.DE) and Wintershall DEA (WINT.UL) in Germany.

(This story has been reclassified to the correct day in the first paragraph)

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Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Kim Coghill

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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