February 6, 2023

Germany's Schulz says Russia has no reason to disrupt the return of turbines

Germany’s Schulz says Russia has no reason to disrupt the return of turbines

  • A turbine stuck in an energy crisis between the West and Russia
  • Schulz visits the Siemens power plant where turbines are stored
  • He says the turbines are ready to be sent back to Russia
  • The Kremlin: The turbine documentation is still not available
  • The Kremlin: Nord Stream 2 could supply gas this year

Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany (Reuters) – German Chancellor Olaf Schulz said on Wednesday that Russia had no reason to delay the return of a gas turbine to a Nord Stream 1 pipeline that was being maintained in Canada but has since been stuck. In Germany, in the face of mounting energy.

Standing next to a turbine visiting a Siemens power plant (ENR1n.DE) In Mülheim an der Ruhr, Schulze said it was fully functional and could be returned to Russia at any time – provided Moscow was willing to take it back.

He closely watched the fate of the 12-meter (13-yard) turbines as European governments accused Russia of throttling gas supplies on flimsy pretexts in retaliation for Western sanctions after the invasion of Ukraine in February.

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Moscow denies this and has cited problems with the turbine as the reason for the reduced gas flows through Nord Stream 1, which have been reduced to 20% of capacity.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed Schulz’s comments on Wednesday, blaming a lack of documentation for disrupting the return of turbines to Russia.

He also pointed to the possibility of Europe getting gas via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a Moscow-led project that was halted by the West when Russia sent troops into Ukraine. Read more

The turbines’ movements were shrouded in secrecy and their whereabouts were unknown until Tuesday evening when the advisor’s visit to Siemens Energy was announced.

“The turbine is working,” Schulz told reporters, telling reporters that the purpose of his visit was to show the world that the turbine was working and that “there is nothing mysterious to notice here.”

“It’s very clear and simple: the turbine is there and it can be delivered, but someone has to say ‘I want to get it’.”

For Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie, whose government has faced criticism for returning the turbines in violation of its sanctions, the current stalemate was worthwhile as an illustration of the Kremlin’s purpose.

“We called his deception,” she said at a meeting with her German counterpart Annalena Barbock in Montreal. “It is now clear that Putin is heating up energy flows across Europe.”

Even if Russia recovers the turbine, Schulz warned that Germany could face more turmoil in the future and that supply contracts may not be honored.

He also said it “makes sense” for Germany to keep its three remaining nuclear plants operating after a planned shutdown at the end of 2022, a shift in policy that has been supported by the risk of cutting off Russian gas entirely. In winter.

we stand together

Senior Director of Gazprom, controlled by the Kremlin (GAZP.MM) He said that the delivery of the turbine after maintenance was not in line with the contract and that it was sent to Germany without Russia’s consent. Read more

Along with Schulz, Siemens Energy CEO Christian Brosch confirmed that talks with Gazprom were underway “but without an agreement”.

The collapse in gas supplies and skyrocketing prices have sparked warnings of recession for the German economy, Europe’s largest, and raised fears of energy shortages and winter rationing.

After being forced to rescue Uniper (UN01.DE) When it became an early victim of the gas crisis, sources told Reuters on Wednesday, the Schulz government will have to adjust its newly introduced energy reforms. Read more

Schulze called on the Germans to strengthen themselves due to the high bills and his government urged them to save energy whenever possible, such as taking a shorter shower.

“This is now a moment when we have to stand together as a country. But it is also a moment when we can show what we are capable of,” he said.

But he chose not to answer questions about his Social Democratic predecessor, former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who was increasingly derided in Germany for his pro-Russian views and friendship with President Vladimir Putin.

Schroeder said Russia was ready for a negotiated settlement to end the war in an interview published on Wednesday after he traveled to Russia to meet Putin last week. Read more

Peskov said Putin told Schroeder that Nord Stream 2 could provide 27 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe by the end of the year if it was allowed to operate.

“Putin explained everything in detail, and the ex-adviser asked whether it was possible to use Nord Stream 2 in a critical situation,” Peskov said. Putin was not the initiator, and Putin did not offer to operate it, but Putin said that it is technically feasible, and this complex mechanism is ready for immediate use.

Schulze indicated that Nord Stream 2 would not be used as a replacement. “We ended the approval process for a good reason,” Schultz said. “There is enough capacity in Nord Stream 1, there is no shortage.”

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Additional reporting by Christoph Stitz in Mulheim, Alison Lambert in Montreal and Ismail Shakeel in Ottawa; Writing by Kirsty Knoll and Mathias Williams; Editing by Madeleine Chambers, Elaine Hardcastle and David Evans

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