Illustrative photo – A painting on a container in the German city of Lubmin shows the route of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.
Moscow/Frankfurt – Russia is going to seal and preserve the damaged pipelines of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, and does not expect to repair and restart them. Citing its sources, Reuters reported this today. Each of the pipelines has two pipelines and was built by Russian gas company Gazprom, which is controlled by the Kremlin. Three of the total four pipelines were disrupted by as yet unexplained explosions last September, one pipeline of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline remains intact.
The gas pipeline Nord Stream 1 was no longer flowing to Europe in the time before the explosion due to the growing tension between Moscow and the West after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Moscow justified the stoppage of traffic as maintenance. Although Nord Stream 2 was completed, it was never launched due to the war in Ukraine and anti-Russian sanctions.
Gazprom stated that it is technically possible to repair the damaged pipeline. According to two Reuters sources, however, Moscow does not see a possibility in the foreseeable future to improve relations with the West enough to make it worthwhile to repair the pipeline.
In the past year, Europe significantly reduced the import of energy raw materials from Russia. Gazprom's exports outside the former Soviet Union fell by almost half last year, reaching a post-Soviet low of 101 billion cubic meters.
One of the Russian sources said that Russia considers the project “buried”. Two others said that while there was no plan to repair the damaged pipeline, it would at least be preserved for future commissioning. That would most likely mean sealing off the broken parts to prevent further corrosion from seawater.
Moscow says the West is behind the pipeline explosions, but has not backed up its claims. In February, the White House dismissed as “total fabrication” a blog post by American Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, who claimed Washington was behind the explosions. Investigations by authorities in Denmark, Germany and Sweden have not yet been concluded.
Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed using the undamaged pipeline of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to pump gas. But Germany now wants to end its energy dependence on Russia and rejected the idea. Poland has also stopped buying Russian gas.
Russia currently exports only about 40 million cubic meters of gas a day to Europe, via Ukraine via the Suzh entry point.
Moscow is now hoping to Turkey, through which it intends to export gas. As a result, Russia would no longer have to rely on the West as a partner in energy, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today.