It appears that Putin's government has announced that Nordstream I will not be restarted until western sanctions are lifted.
Russian natural gas supply via the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany will remain shut until the Western sanctions that impede gas turbine repairs are lifted, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.
The gas crisis in Europe took a turn for the worse at the end of last week, when Russian gas giant Gazprom said after three-day maintenance ended on Friday that Nord Stream would remain shut until “operational defects in the equipment are eliminated,” upping the ante in its gas war against Europe.
As a reminder the pipeline had only one operational gas-turbine driven pump which, according to Gazprom, requires maintenance. There are usually five of them available for service with a sixth held in reserve as a spare at that specific station through which the gas flows.
As things stand now there are no spares and one sort-of-operating one that was shut down as a result of a fault discovered during an inspection. There are people saying that Russia could operate the one with the leak anyway but why does anyone believe there is any sort of duty to do so and shave the margins of safety?
There clearly is no such duty and, further, the gas is Russia's so if you think you have the right to sanction a nation and then demand they trade with you its rather obvious to me that your IQ is smaller than your shoe size.
For those who claim Russia is waging an "energy war" well, perhaps they are, but let's not forget the west is attempting to wage an economic one!
I've never in my life seen a "war" in which the people backing one side of it demand that the party on the other side continue to trade with them and not only that, but then attempt to put in price controls such that they demand not only the product but also what they pay for it.
Putin obviously thinks that's crazy.
Now the West and Europe in particular get to choose: Either drop the sanctions or you get no gas.
I fail to understand how this cannot be viewed as an entirely-reasonable position unless your view is that Russia has no right of national sovereignty at all, including the natural resources that lay within her border and those that transit same.
If that's your position -- that the West has the right to impose a political and economic structure on a sovereign government then just come out and say it.