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Gazprom looking for excuse not to resume gas supplies to Germany: daily

The German government believes Gazprom is bluffing to find an excuse not to resume gas supplies to the country, the “Bild” daily wrote on Saturday.

Russia has halted gas shipments through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline since July 11, explaining that maintenance work was needed. However, the country’s energy giant Gazprom has put a big question mark over the pipeline’s restart, reporting that a turbine, its crucial element serviced in Canada, has still not arrived in Russia.

The Russian company explained in a statement that “objectively assessing further developments” is “complicated”, adding that it “does not have any documents that would allow Siemens to send a turbine” to Russia’s Portovaya gas compressor station.

Gazprom asks Siemens to return turbine for Nordstream 1

The turbine was sent from Canada to Germany despite sanctions on Russia. Now Gazprom asks Siemens to provide documents allowing to export the turbine to NS1's Portovaya station

— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) July 16, 2022

The Canadian side, observing the sanctions imposed on Russia, has been delaying the return of the turbine for several months. However, experts doubt that the proper, continued operation of Nord Stream 1 is dependent on this one part.

“Germany could be safely supplied with gas also with the currently existing turbines. But Gazprom does not want this for political reasons,” an expert told the German daily, adding that the country’s government takes a similar view.

As the “Bild” pointed out, “Gazprom does not seem interested in returning the turbine… therefore slowing down the process instead of speeding it up,” also emphasising that “the Canadian side does not seem ready to send the turbine out of the country” due to the strong pressure from the Ukrainian government and the country’s President, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, saying it would be “absolutely unacceptable” for Canada to hand over the turbine to Germany.

Zelensky is not happy at all with Canada for transferring a sanctioned turbine to Germany, which in turn will give the turbine to Gazprom and the Russo-German Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.

— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) July 12, 2022

A spokesperson for Siemens Energy, the company servicing the turbine, was unable to give the daily any timeframe for when the parts would be returned. “Our experts are currently working intensively on all formal approvals and logistics, which includes, among other things, processes regarding export and import controls,” he explained.

Furthermore, even if, after all the perturbations, the turbine had been delivered to Russia, “it would not have been at all certain that Gazprom would have installed it,” the daily concluded.

Zelenskyy’s adviser appeals to banks

Oleh Ustenko, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, has written letters to banks JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Citigroup and Credit Agricole, urging them to stop financing companies that trade in Russian oil, the British daily “Financial Times” reported on Saturday, as quoted by Ukrainian media.

The official also accused these banks of dragging out the war in Ukraine by providing loans to companies that supply Russian oil, stipulating that these banks would not be allowed to participate in the reconstruction of post-war Ukraine.

Mr Ustenko pointed out that the Ukrainian special services were gathering information on similar cooperation with Russia and that, once the war was over, the Ukrainian justice ministry would refer the matter to the International Criminal Court.

In response to his letter, JPMorgan bank announced that it was actively participating in anti-Russian sanctions. Citigroup and Credit Agricole, meanwhile, have given notice that they are ending their operations in Russia.

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