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Even if Russia were to start Nord Stream 2 tomorrow, the gas flows through it would be unable to alleviate much of the natural gas shortages in Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday, adding that he had warned German Chancellor Olaf Scholz about this.
Germany actually never certified the twin link of the Nord Stream pipeline from Russia to Germany.
Russia completed the Nord Stream 2 project last year, but Germany halted the certification of the project late in 2021. After Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February 2022, Germany suspended indefinitely the project that was designed to double Russian gas flows to Germany. "We now have to reassess the dramatically changed situation: This also applies toNord Stream 2," Chancellor Scholz said at the time, adding that "The certification cannot take place now."
Speaking to reporters while on a visit to Iran today, Putin said, referring to Scholz and Nord Stream 2, "I had to warn him that we would take half of the volumes intended for Nord Stream 2 for internal consumption and processing then. I talked about that issue at Gazprom's request, and Gazprom has already done that."
"Therefore, even if we launch Nord Stream 2 tomorrow, it won't be 55 million cubic meters a year, but exactly half of that. In addition, bearing in mind that only the second half is left of this year, it means only one-fourth. That's the situation with the supplies," Putin was quoted as saying by Russian news agency Interfax.
Also on Wednesday, Putin warned Europe that Gazprom could cut natural gas flows to Europe via the existing Nord Stream route due to slow progress with the maintenance of the gas turbines at compressor stations. Nord Stream is undergoing regular maintenance between July 11 and 21, and no gas currently flows from the key gas link between Russia and Germany. The European Union is bracing for the possibility that Russia will not resume natural gas deliveries to Europe via Nord Stream as planned.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com