Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak threatened on Monday to cut Russian natural gas supply to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, in retaliation for Germany’s decision to block the operation of the new Nord Stream 2.
Novak, also the country’s top energy official, noted that Russia has not yet made a decision, but that it has every right to take an action of the same magnitude and put an embargo on gas supplies coming through the pipeline. NS1.
The official stated that right now, the gas pipeline is working “at its maximum capacity”.
Europe’s dependence on Russian energy has been a key factor in efforts by the continent’s leaders to agree how to respond to the invasion of Ukraine. Last month, Berlin suspended the $11 billion Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, and European Union officials say they are working on a plan that could reduce the bloc’s import needs from Russia. by nearly 80 percent by 2022.
But many EU politicians remain wary of taking immediate action, which is why Germany has so far refused to ban imports of Russian oil and gas. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stressed on Monday that Russian energy sources are of “essential importance” for the European economy. About 40 percent of the bloc’s imports come from Russia.
In this regard, Novak assured that Russia has other options to sell its oil if the US and the European Union prohibit Russian imports, and warned that such a move could have “catastrophic consequences for the world market”, driving the price of a barrel of oil above 300 dollars.
On the other hand, and on the other side of the Atlantic, key US legislators have reached an agreement to ban imports of Russian oilpaving the way for a new round of sanctions against Vladimir Putin.
The project comes amid mounting pressure to greenlight a ban that would increase economic pressure on Russia.
The House of Representatives could vote on the proposal as soon as Wednesday, but President Joe Biden has not endorsed the effort.
“The president has not made a decision at this time”White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.