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Russia President, Vladimir Putin. Photo Credit: Foreign Policy

EU To Retaliate Russia’s Gas Cut, Accuses Putin Of Weaponising Gas

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The European Union has threatened to react to Russia’s decision to cut gas supply, after one of the largest exporters in Vladimir Putin’s country, Gazprom, said it needs to conduct additional repairs on its pipeline.

On Friday September 2, 2022, Gazprom had announced through Telegram, that it will stop transportation of gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, just a week after it embarked on a “maintenance outage” that lasted till September 3. 

In the latest decision by Gazprom, the company said, “Gas transportation to the Nord Stream gas pipeline has been completely stopped until the issues on the operation of the equipment are eliminated.” 

This decision continues to reduce the supply of gas into Europe to 20% ahead of the coming winter, and the EU believe the Russian government is weaponising gas against the allies of Ukraine, a country Russia invaded in February 2022. 

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EU’s economics commissioner, Paolo Gentiloni, said, “We expect that Russia is respecting the contracts that they have but even if the weaponization of energy will continue or will increase in response to our decisions, I think that the Euoprean Union is ready to react.” 

Gentiloni further stated that, “Of course, we have to save energy, we have to share energy, we have [a] high level of storage and we are not afraid of Putin’s decisions.” Adding that, “We asked Putin to respect their contracts but if they don’t respect their contracts then we are ready to react.” 

Note that the halt in gas supply through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline follows the Group of Seven economic powers resolution to cut Russia’s oil revenue by imposing a price cap on oil from the country. 

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Meanwhile, the European Union have also been reducing importation of Russian oil and gas, and expects a significant reduction at the end of the year.

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