Deutsche Welle reports: Russian gas firm Gazprom is scheduled to switch off its largest natural gas pipeline running to Germany for annual maintenance. The question is whether Russia will switch it back on. Officials in Germany and across the EU are warning utilities and companies to brace for a possible complete stop to gas flows even after the 10-day repair-period. They fear Russia will use maintenance as a pre-text. Moscow has already reduced flows into Germany in recent weeks, cutting back supply to 40 percent of normal levels while citing repair needs.
The Nord Stream stoppage also appears to be pushing the German government to undermine its own sanctions regime. At Berlin’s request, Canada has now temporarily waived its export restrictions on a gas turbine that Siemens was repairing at its facilities in Montreal. Delivery and installation of the turbine, which Russia says is critical to restoring gas flows, could force the EU to partially lift its own sanctions on Russia. That, in turn, has drawn the ire of Ukraine.