Europe pushing Russia towards ban on Nord Stream 1 gas supplies - Novak
MOSCOW. March 7 (Interfax) - Russia has every right to respond in kind and impose an embargo on the pumping of natural gas via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which is currently filled to maximum capacity, but we have made no such decision yet, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday.
"Today Europe consumes around 500 billion cubic meters of gas per year, and 40% of this comes from Russia. For decades, Russia has been a reliable partner, no matter what. And even now Gazprom [MOEX: GAZP] fully honors its contractual obligations to deliver gas to Europe," Novak said.
He noted that shipments via Ukraine had been increased to 109 million cubic meters per day, which was equivalent to Europe-bound shipments of around 40 billion cubic meters per year. "This is transit through Ukraine, and It is being 100% honored to this day. Also, deliveries are carried out via Nord Stream 1, Yamal-Europe, TurkStream and the Blue Stream," Novak said.
"At the same time we understand that, with the unfounded accusations against Russia regarding Europe's energy crisis and banning Nord Stream 2, we have every right to retaliate and impose an embargo on the gas pumped via Nord Stream 1, which today is filled up 100 per cent.
"But we are not making this decision yet. No one is winning from it. Even though European politicians, with their claims and accusations, are pushing us towards it.
"Regrettably, today we are seeing European politicians making a statement regarding energy issues, urging to get rid of Russian oil and gas. Yet again European officials are trying to blame Russia for their problems and failings of their own energy policy of recent years. As a result, we observe a sharp increase in energy prices. I hereby state responsibly that Russia has no part in the current price surge and market volatility," Novak said.
Currently, Russia ships around 60 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.