G7, Russia raise stakes in energy war over Ukraine

STORY: The stakes in an energy war between Moscow and the West over the war in Ukraine were raised on Friday (September 2) with the Group of Seven rich countries agreeing to try to cap the global price of Russian oil... and Russia delaying the re-opening of its main gas pipeline to Germany.

A deadline had been set for Saturday to resume gas flows via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, one of the main supply routes to Europe.

But that deadline was scrapped, with Russia's state-controlled energy giant Gazprom blaming a technical fault.

Gazprom said it couldn’t provide a timeline for when deliveries will resume.

The announcement deepens Europe’s difficulties securing fuel for winter as it faces an energy-driven surge in living costs.

Moscow has blamed sanctions, imposed by the West after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, for hampering routine operations and maintenance of Nord Stream 1.

Brussels says Russia is using gas as an economic weapon to retaliate.

Earlier on Friday, finance ministers from the G7 wealthy democracies announced they would impose a price cap on Russian oil with the aim of slashing Moscow’s revenue and avoiding price hikes.

Moscow said it would halt oil sales to countries imposing the cap.

While key details such as the per-barrel price level are still to be resolved, the White House says collective efforts are already working.

(White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-pierre, saying:)

“The impact of our efforts to implement a price cap is already bearing fruit. Reports show that Russia is already offering steep discounts - as much as 30 percent - and long term contracts to some countries.”

All of this comes as Moscow and Kyiv trade blame over actions at one of the war’s most dangerous frontlines – the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, where fears have grown in recent weeks over a potential disaster.