Putin offers Europe gas through Nord Stream 2, Germany declines

Thursday, 13 October 2022 (13:33 IST)
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday offered to resume gas supplies to Europe through the intact part of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

"The ball is in the EU's court. If they want to, then the taps can be turned on and that's it," he said in a speech at an energy forum in Moscow.

Germany, however,,said it would not take Russian gas via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that has become a flashpoint in the Ukraine crisis.

Asked if Berlin would rule out the use of Nord Stream 2, German government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann said, "Yes."

"Independently of the possible sabotage of the two pipelines, we have seen that Russia is no longer a reliable energy supplier, and that even before the damage to Nord Stream 1 there was no longer any gas flowing,'' Hoffmann told reporters.

Massive amounts of gas were released into the Baltic Sea after both links of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline and one of the two links of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline were ruptured on September 26.

Russia had already halted gas deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in early September, citing technical problems. Nord Stream 2 never became operational as Germany halted its approval after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Putin said it was possible to repair the pipelines but that Russia and Europe should decide their fate.

Nord Stream repairs could take a year

The Russian invasion prompted European buyers to start the process of weaning themselves off Russian oil and gas and look for alternative suppliers.

Speaking at the same forum as Putin, Alexei Miller, head of Russian energy company Gazprom, said repairs to the damaged Nord Stream pipelines would take at least a year.

He added there was "no guarantee" that Europe would survive winter based on its current gas storage capacity.

Germany's gas storage facilities are nearly 95% full, and officials say the country is well-placed to get through the winter, though efforts to save gas will be necessary.

Putin moots major gas hub in Turkey

Ahead of a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Putin proposed the creation of an energy hub in Turkey.

"We could move the lost volumes from the Nord Streams along the bottom of the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea region and thus make the main routes for the supply of our fuel, our natural gas to Europe through Turkey, creating the largest gas hub for Europe in Turkey," he said.

Russia is the world's second-largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia and the top natural gas exporter.

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