The Kremlin said on Monday that Europe only had itself to blame for the crisis in the gas market and demanded that gas turbines used by the Nord Stream 1 pipeline should be returned. Russia's state-controlled gas firm, Gazprom, cut capacity along Nord Stream 1 last week, citing the delayed return of equipment currently being serviced by Germany's Siemens Energy in Canada.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Russia has gas to supply but that equipment should be sent back first, adding that the recent crisis was of a 'man-made' nature created by Europe.
"Russia remains the most reliable supplier. From a technical point of view, the mechanical infrastructure of that pipeline is under EU sanctions," Peskov said. "We have gas, it is ready to be delivered, but the Europeans must give back the equipment, which should be repaired under their obligations."
Russian gas flows to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, the main route supplying Europe's biggest economy, were still running at about 40% of capacity on Monday, even though they had edged up from the start of last week.
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