After the start of the war against Ukraine, Russia openly threatened to cut gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in the Baltic Sea for the first time." We have every right to make a 'mirror-fair' decision and to impose an embargo on the transit of gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which today has a maximum capacity of 100 percent," said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak in a speech broadcast on state television on Monday evening. He commented on the stopped Nord Stream 2 line, which Russia is trying to put into operation.
"But we are not making that decision yet. Nobody wins in this," Nowak said. However, he said Russia now feels pushed in this direction by European politicians and their accusations. The German government had halted the controversial pipeline after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Russia was following the statements of Western politicians who wanted to get away from Russian gas and oil. EU politicians were overheating energy prices through their actions.
Russia is considered the largest oil supplier in Europe - accounting for 30 percent of the 500 million tons of annual consumption. "It is absolutely obvious that abandoning Russian oil will lead to disastrous consequences on the world market," Nowak emphasized. He predicted prices of around $300 per barrel of oil. "European politicians should honestly warn their citizens and consumers that prices will then skyrocket for fuel, electricity, and heating." The commodity power is prepared and will find other sales markets than Europe and the U.S., Nowak said.
"Europe today consumes 500 billion cubic meters of gas a year, 40 percent of which Russia secures," the politician explained. Nord Stream 1 alone supplied 60 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Throughout all crises, he said, the country has always delivered reliably and also continues to channel gas through Ukraine and via other routes to Europe. In his speech, Nowak warned that nationalists could launch an attack on the transit system during the fighting in Ukraine. Russia will do everything to prevent an escalation.
Photo by Leo Dalitte