What is Nord Stream 1 and why is it crucial to Europe?

by | Jul 26, 2022 | World

EXPLAINERGas flows via the pipeline are being halted in what EU officials say is a ‘politically motivated’ move by Moscow.The Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline has been the focus of a spat between Russia and EU members in recent weeks, as Brussels seeks to secure sufficient reserves to get member states through the coming European winter.
Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled gas giant, has kept European leaders on their toes as it repeatedly announced disruption in gas flows due to what it claimed were technical issues due to maintenance work.
On Tuesday, as the bloc’s energy ministers met in Brussels to approve an emergency plan, EU energy policy chief Kadri Simson slammed Gazprom’s announcement that it would reduce flows to 20 percent of the pipeline’s capacity as “politically motivated”.
Here is what you need to know:

Why does Nord Stream 1 matter?

Nord Stream 1, which is majority-owned by Gazprom, is the single biggest pipeline bringing crucial supplies of Russian natural gas to Europe via Germany.
The EU is heavily reliant on Russian gas. Last year, Russia supplied some 40 percent of the EU’s natural gas.
That has dropped significantly this year, straining energy-intensive industries and sending commodity prices through the roof.
Maintenance work largely went unnoticed in the past, but the pipeline has now become a bargaining chip as Russia and the West exchange economic blows in response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine launched in February.

What has happened so far?

Russia cut flows …

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