Nord Stream resumes gas flow from Russia to Europe

STORY: Gas is flowing from Russia to Europe again.

The key Nord Stream 1 pipeline had been out of action for maintenance, and many in Europe had feared Russia might delay a restart.

The route accounts for more than a third of the country's gas exports to the EU.

In Germany consumers welcomed Thursday's (July 21) news:

“I am relieved that some gas is flowing again. At the same time, I’m of the belief that we as a country should not let ourselves be blackmailed by Russia, and so my feelings are mixed.”

Moscow has been curbing gas supplies to Europe for months, after the West imposed sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine.

The gas reductions have exacerbated an energy crisis, sending gas prices rocketing, and putting the region at risk of shortages and rationing over the winter.

A spokesperson for Austrian utility OMV said Russia's Gazprom was now expected to deliver roughly half of the agreed gas volume on Thursday.

In June, Russia reduced gas flows to 40% of the pipeline's capacity, citing delays in the return of a key turbine that was being serviced in Canada.

The West accused Moscow of using its energy resources as a weapon.

The Kremlin rejects that allegation, and says it is a reliable supplier.

On Wednesday (July 20), the EU urged member states to cut gas usage by 15% until March to limit dependency on Russia.

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