NewsRussia threatens to close the gas tap to Europe...

Russia threatens to close the gas tap to Europe and the G7 evaluates response

To intensify the energy war between Russia and the West, Moscow has announced that it will keep its main gas pipeline to Germany closed and the G7 countries have announced that they plan to limit the prices of Russian oil exports.

The standoff over Russian oil and gas exports is one of the consequences of President Vladimir Putin’s six-month invasion of Ukraine, and underscores the deep rift it has caused between Moscow and Western countries.

For its part, the Russian Defense Ministry on Saturday accused Ukrainian forces of mounting a failed attempt to seize the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which has been the center of international concern in recent weeks.

The ministry said a Ukrainian naval force of more than 250 troops tried to land on the shore of a lake near the plant, which is Europe’s largest nuclear power station.

“Despite the presence of representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the Zaporizhzhia NPP, the kyiv regime once again attempted to seize the plant,” the Defense Ministry said.

Reuters was unable to verify the report.

kyiv and Moscow have traded accusations over the attacks on the plant, which was seized by Russian forces in March but is connected to the Ukrainian power grid and continues to be operated by Ukrainian personnel.

A team of IAEA inspectors arrived at the plant on Thursday to assess its safety. The head of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi, after returning to the territory controlled by Ukraine, said that the physical integrity of the plant had been violated on several occasions.

On Friday, Grossi said he hopes to prepare a report on the plant’s safety early next week, and that two experts from the IAEA inspection team will stay at the plant for longer.

A reactor at the plant was reconnected to the Ukrainian power grid on Friday, a day after it was shut down due to nearby shelling, Ukraine’s state nuclear company Energoatom said.

Ukraine and the West have claimed that Russia is using the site as a base for heavy weapons to deter Ukraine from firing on it. Russia has so far resisted international calls to withdraw troops from the plant and demilitarize the area.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu denied on Friday that Russia had heavy weapons at or near the plant and accused Ukraine of committing “nuclear terrorism” with its attacks on the facility.

gas and oil

In its announcement on Friday that shipments via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would not resume as expected, Russian energy giant Gazprom blamed a technical glitch.

Gazprom said on Saturday that Siemens Energy was willing to help repair damaged equipment, but that there was no place available to carry out the work.

Siemens said it has not been commissioned to carry out pipeline maintenance work, but is available.

The Nord Stream 1, which runs under the Baltic Sea to supply Germany and other countries, was due to resume operation after a three-day maintenance shutdown on Saturday.

Moscow has blamed sanctions imposed by the West following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 for hampering the routine operations and maintenance of Nord Stream 1. Brussels and Washington accuse Russia of using the gas as an economic weapon.

The indefinite delay in resuming gas deliveries will compound Europe’s problems securing fuel for the winter, with the cost of living already skyrocketing, led by energy prices.

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