Putin CUTS gas supplies today as he rolls out horror plan to starve and freeze Europe

EU proposal for ban on Russian gas blocked by Orban says expert

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Gazprom, the Russian state-backed gas behemoth announced on Tuesday that it would cut gas supplies flowing through the Nord Stream pipeline. The Russian company stated that it would be decreasing gas flows through the pipeline by about 40 percent on account of repair work on compressor units by German company Siemens. However, Germany pushed back against this justification, calling it a “political decision” intended to drive up prices.

In a press conference, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck called Gazprom’s move “a political decision and not a technically justifiable decision”

“It is obviously a strategy to unsettle and drive up prices.

“We can currently buy the necessary quantities from the market, albeit at higher prices.”

Mr Habeck admitted that there were repair works needed on the pipeline, but added that “the first set of maintenance works where this would have become relevant will not take place until autumn.”

He also noted that those works would not warrant a reduction “on the order of 40 percent”.

This would not be the first time this year that Russia has weaponised gas supplies flowing into Europe in order to exert political pressure.

In the months leading up to the invasion of Ukraine, Putin had been pushing hard for the EU to fast-track the certification process of Nord Stream 2, which Russia argued would double gas exports to Europe.

This was a planned £8billion gas pipeline that was set to transit gas from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea bypassing Ukraine and Poland.

In order to speed up the approval process, Russia began decreasing gas supplies flowing into Europe to a contractual minimum amount, sending the fuel-starved bloc into a crisis that sent energy prices to record levels.

Russia argued that Nord Stream 2 would have doubled gas exports to Europe, and would have been able to ease the energy crisis by bringing prices down.

After dragging its feet on the issue for months, Germany finally suspended the Nord Stream 2 project after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Gazprom claimed that due to a delayed return of components, only three gas-pumping units would currently be operational at the Portovaya compression station near the Russian city Vyborg, where the Nord Stream pipeline begins.

However, Berlin may be able to outsmart Putin, as it pledged to support Gazprom Germania, a subsidiary of Gazprom, by saving it from insolvency with a €10billion (£8.6billion) loan.

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This comes as Ukraine’s deputy Agriculture Minister warned that Russia is trying to create a global food crisis through the blockade of Ukraine’s ports.

Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Taras Vysotskyi told LBC: “Their job is going to achieve at least two goals, first of all, to make the very big damage to Ukraine because our economy is export-orientated and the agricultural sector is one of the most important.

“The other is to create the global international food security crisis, which can lead to migrations, to refugees, and so on.

“Because they do understand such volumes it is impossible to find in another direction.

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