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Russia indefinitely suspends Nord Stream gas pipeline to Europe

Pipes at the landfall facilities of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline are pictured in Lubmin, Germany, (REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo)

The Russian gas giant Gazprom has indefinitely suspended natural gas flows to Europe via Nord Stream 1 pipeline amid a worsening energy crisis in the continent.

Gazprom completely halted the flow of gas through the pipeline on Wednesday, saying the stoppage would last for three days.

However, on Friday it said it extended the shutdown over a technical fault, providing no timeframe for a reopening. 

“Gas transportation to the Nord Stream gas pipeline has been completely halted until the complaints on the operation of the equipment have been eliminated,” Gazprom said in a statement on Telegram on Friday.

Gazprom also said that they won’t resume operations until the repair work will be over.

"Until it is repaired... the transport of gas via Nord Stream is completely suspended," it added.

The latest announcement comes on the same day as the G7 nations said they would work to quickly implement a price cap on Russian oil exports.

The Kremlin has recently warned about the future operations of the pipeline that is at risk due to a lack of spare parts.

"There are no technical reserves, only one turbine is working," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"So the reliability of the operation, of the whole system, is at risk," he said, adding that it was "not through the fault" of Gazprom.

While the EU has accused Russia of cutting supplies in retaliation for the sanctions, Moscow has insisted that the sanctions have made the technical maintenance of the pipeline very difficult for the Russian company.

Gazprom has emphasized that the delayed return of the turbine from Canada, where the unit was being serviced, was behind the initial reduction in gas deliveries via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline in June.

In that month, the company curtailed its gas supply to Europe by 40 percent. Then, it drastically cut the deliveries through the pipeline to about 20 percent of its capacity in July.

The new development comes as Europe braces for an upcoming harsh winter as energy consumption would go up. 

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