Gazprom says it can’t guarantee functioning of Nord Stream gas pipeline

Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom warned on Wednesday it could not guarantee the functioning of “critical” equipment for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline despite Canada’s decision to return an essential turbine after it was repaired in the country.

Nord Stream, Germany’s main source of gas from Russia, was shut down on Monday for ten days of scheduled maintenance work, leaving EU leaders fretting that Gazprom wouldn’t turn the pipeline back on after the outage.

A key turbine for the pipeline is being repaired at a Canadian site owned by Germany’s Siemens. Gazprom had blamed the delayed return of the turbine for a recent 40 percent reduction in gas deliveries through the pipeline.

Last Saturday, Canada said it would allow the return of the equipment to Russia through Germany, despite appeals from Ukraine to hold off on the delivery.

In a statement, the energy company said that “Gazprom does not possess any documents that would enable Siemens to get the gas turbine engine […] out of Canada, where that engine is currently undergoing repairs.”

“In the circumstances,” the statement adds, “it appears appears impossible to reach an objective conclusion on further developments regarding the safe operation of the Portovaya [station], a facility of critical importance to the Nord Stream gas pipeline.”