A new halt to Russian gas tightens the noose around Europe and exacerbates the energy crisis

A new halt to Russian gas tightens the noose around Europe and exacerbates the energy crisis Russia decided to halt gas supplies via a major pipeline to Europe on Wednesday, intensifying the economic battle between Moscow and Brussels and raising the prospect of a recession and energy rationing in some of the region's richest countries.  Russia halted gas supplies via a major pipeline to Europe on Wednesday, intensifying the economic battle between Moscow and Brussels and raising the prospect of recession and energy rationing in some of the region's richest countries.  The outage through Nord Stream 1 is for maintenance and means no gas flows into Germany between 01:00 GMT on August 31 and 01:00 GMT on September 3, according to Russian energy giant Gazprom.  Data from the pipeline operator's website showed flows dropped to zero between 02:00 and 03:00 GMT Wednesday.  European governments fear that Moscow will extend the outage in response to Western sanctions imposed over the attack on Ukraine, and have accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of using energy supplies as a "weapon of war", which Moscow denies.  Increased restrictions on European gas supplies will exacerbate an energy crisis that has already led to a rise in wholesale gas prices by more than 400% since August last year, causing a painful cost-of-living crisis for consumers, increasing costs for companies and forcing governments to spend billions to ease the burden.  In contrast to a 10-day maintenance of the pipeline last month, the new maintenance was announced just less than two weeks ago.  Moscow has already cut supplies via Nord Stream 1 to 40% of capacity in June and 20% in July, blaming maintenance problems and sanctions it says prevent equipment and installations from being returned.  Gazprom said the new shutdown is necessary to carry out maintenance on the pipeline's only remaining compressor.  Russia has completely cut off supplies to Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Poland and reduced flows through other pipelines since launching what Moscow calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine.

Russia decided to halt gas supplies via a major pipeline to Europe on Wednesday, intensifying the economic battle between Moscow and Brussels and raising the prospect of a recession and energy rationing in some of the region's richest countries.

Russia halted gas supplies via a major pipeline to Europe on Wednesday, intensifying the economic battle between Moscow and Brussels and raising the prospect of recession and energy rationing in some of the region's richest countries.

The outage through Nord Stream 1 is for maintenance and means no gas flows into Germany between 01:00 GMT on August 31 and 01:00 GMT on September 3, according to Russian energy giant Gazprom.

Data from the pipeline operator's website showed flows dropped to zero between 02:00 and 03:00 GMT Wednesday.

European governments fear that Moscow will extend the outage in response to Western sanctions imposed over the attack on Ukraine, and have accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of using energy supplies as a "weapon of war", which Moscow denies.

Increased restrictions on European gas supplies will exacerbate an energy crisis that has already led to a rise in wholesale gas prices by more than 400% since August last year, causing a painful cost-of-living crisis for consumers, increasing costs for companies and forcing governments to spend billions to ease the burden.

In contrast to a 10-day maintenance of the pipeline last month, the new maintenance was announced just less than two weeks ago.

Moscow has already cut supplies via Nord Stream 1 to 40% of capacity in June and 20% in July, blaming maintenance problems and sanctions it says prevent equipment and installations from being returned.

Gazprom said the new shutdown is necessary to carry out maintenance on the pipeline's only remaining compressor.

Russia has completely cut off supplies to Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Poland and reduced flows through other pipelines since launching what Moscow calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine.
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