Posted BY: Chris Menahan | Information Liberation

Russia dropped the hammer on Monday by announcing gas supplies to Europe through Nord Stream 1 will be halted indefinitely until Western sanctions are lifted.

From RT, “Main gas pipeline to EU will be closed until sanctions lifted – Kremlin”:

Technical issues with gas deliveries to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline will persist until the West lifts sanctions it has slapped on Russia over the ongoing Ukraine conflict, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. 

On August 31, Gazprom completely shut down gas deliveries via the pipeline. Although initially Nord Stream 1 was slated to resume gas transit on Friday, Gazprom announced that it would remain closed indefinitely due to technical issues.

“Problems in [gas] deliveries arose due to sanctions that have been imposed on our country and a number of companies by Western countries, including Germany and the UK. There are no other reasons behind supply issues,” Peskov noted.

The Kremlin spokesman also claimed that it is not Gazprom’s fault that “the Europeans absolutely absurdly make a decision to refuse to service their equipment,” which they are contractually obligated to do.

Peskov stressed that all Nord Stream 1 operations hinge on “one piece of equipment that needs serious maintenance.”

On Sunday, his comments were echoed by Alexander Novak, Russian Deputy Prime Minister, who blamed the European Union for the problems that have prevented the resumption of gas supplies via the pipeline.

“The entire problem lies precisely on [the EU’s] side, because all the conditions of the repair contract have been completely violated, along with the terms of shipping of the equipment,” he said.

On Friday, Gazprom canceled the restart of Nord Stream 1 citing an oil leak in the turbine, which was detected during a joint inspection with manufacturer Siemens Energy at the Portovaya compressor station near St. Petersburg. At the same time, the malfunction could be remedied only in Canada, which has imposed sanctions against Moscow.

Despite the maintenance issues, Europe has accused Russia of weaponizing energy supplies, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen describing Moscow as “not a reliable partner” in terms of gas supplies.

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Ursula von der Leyen said in February the EU would be just fine without Russian energy, now she’s whining about Russia cutting them off. 

What’s so remarkable about the situation is Russia’s brand new Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany is fully completed and ready to be turned on at any time — if German and EU politicians allow it.

From Reuters, “Russian lawmaker urges Europe to revive Nord Stream 2 to solve energy crisis”:

Europe could solve its energy crisis by scrapping sanctions against 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 Baltic Sea gas pipeline project on Feb. 22, just two days before Russia sent its troops into Ukraine in what it calls a “special military operation”, and after the Kremlin formally recognised two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

[…] 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 have created for themselves,” he wrote on Telegram.

“The first one. Lift illegal sanctions against our country and launch Nord Stream 2. The second one. To leave everything as it is, which will lead to problems in the economy and make life even more difficult for citizens.”

Europe’s most divisive energy project, costing $11 billion, was finished in September 2021, but has stood idle pending certification by Germany and the European Union.

Zero Hedge on Monday shared a forecast predicting energy bills for a typical European family will surge around 200% this year.

Western leaders have stated explicitly the needs of Ukraine take precedence over their own voters — no matter how rough the winter gets or how high their energy bills surge.