In response to worries that Moscow might exploit its significant energy exports to fend off Western criticism over its invasion of Ukraine, the operator of the major pipeline through Ukraine said that Russia is resuming gas deliveries to Europe on Thursday.
Following a 10-day repair pause, the Nord Stream 1 pipeline has restarted with a reduced capacity after remarks from Russia’s foreign minister revealed the Kremlin’s objectives had changed throughout the five-month conflict.
Russian military “tasks” in Ukraine now extend beyond the eastern Donbas area, according to Sergei Lavrov, speaking to the state news agency RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
Lavrov said that if the West continues to give Kyiv long-range weaponry like the American-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, Moscow will expand its objectives further.
The European Union instructed its members to reduce their gas use by 15% until March as an emergency measure on Wednesday due to concerns that Moscow would cease Russia’s supplying of gas through the largest pipeline in Europe.
“Russia is using us as a pawn. According to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Russia is using energy as a weapon. She called a complete cessation of Russian gas exports “a plausible possibility” for which “Europe has to be ready.”
Putin had already issued a warning stating that, the Nord Stream gas supply may be further cut.
The largest gas exporter in the world, Russia, has refuted Western claims that it has ever used its energy supply as a means of coercion, claiming that it has always been a trustworthy energy source.
Russia won’t provide oil to the global market if a price ceiling is below the cost of production, according to Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, on Wednesday.