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Russia blames ‘absolute turmoil’ of sanctions for gas ‘problems’

The Kremlin warned on Monday that Russian gas deliveries to Europe will continue to be severely limited as long as Western sanctions remain in place.

“Problems in pumping have arisen because of the sanctions imposed against our country,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov said Monday, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency, adding the measures have caused “absolute turmoil.”

Flows through the Russia-to-Germany Nord Stream pipeline were stopped indefinitely on Friday, officially due a malfunctioning gas turbine, although European officials doubt that story.

In response, prices on the benchmark Dutch TTF hub jumped by 26 percent Monday to €272 per megawatt hour.

The Kremlin argues sanctions — particularly those levied by Germany and the U.K. — prevent Russia from repairing a series of turbines needed to pump gas along the undersea pipeline, which was only using 20 percent of its capacity before being shut down on Friday.

“It is precisely these sanctions that the Western states have introduced that have brought the situation to what we see now,” Peskov said.

Siemens Energy, which makes and repairs the turbines, said Saturday that the most recently claimed malfunctions shouldn’t stop gas from flowing through Nord Stream, and can be dealt with onsite.

However, Peskov stopped short of announcing an outright halt.

“For now, all we can hope for this single unit is that we will somehow be able to put it in order,” he said.

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