July 7, 2022

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Germans told to conserve energy as Russia cuts gas flows to Europe

2 min read

The German government has issued an appeal for citizens in the EU’s biggest economy to conserve energy as Russia cuts gas supplies to ever more European countries.

Germany’s deputy chancellor Robert Habeck said the situation was “serious” and that “now is the time” for companies and ordinary citizens to save energy and store gas. “Every kilowatt hour helps in this situation,” he said in a video appeal published on Twitter on Thursday.

Russia’s state-controlled gas exporter Gazprom has cut flows through the Nord Stream pipeline, which runs under the Baltic Sea to Germany, by 60 per cent in recent days, citing technical problems. But Germany has said the move is political.

Germany’s biggest power supply company RWE reported reduced gas flows on Thursday. Italy’s supplies were reduced by 15 per cent on Wednesday and Italian energy company Eni said the shortfall had worsened on Thursday, while Slovakia reported a 30 per cent reduction in flows. Meanwhile, Austrian energy company OMV said it had been informed by Gazprom that delivery volumes would be cut.

The Russian supply curbs came as the leaders of Germany, Italy and France visited Kyiv on Thursday in a show of support for Ukraine’s government almost four months into Russia’s invasion.

EU politicians have accused Russia of effectively weaponising its role as one of the world’s largest oil and gas producers, while European sanctions following the invasion have raised fears of further retaliatory cuts by Russia.

European gas prices, already running close to record levels, have soared more than 70 per cent this week in response to the latest restrictions in supply, reaching €146 per megawatt hour on Wednesday — a gain of almost 30 per cent on the day.

Moscow has blamed the reduction in gas flows to Germany on technical issues with the Nord Stream pipeline after pumping equipment, supplied by Germany’s Siemens Energy, was held up by Canadian sanctions following maintenance at a…

2022-06-16 08:21:24

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