Germany braces for ‘nightmare’ of Russia turning off gas for good

(The Guardian, 10 Jul 2022) Ministers fear flow may never restart as annual maintenance work soon begins on Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

Germany is bracing itself for a potentially permanent halt to the flow of Russian gas from Monday when maintenance work begins on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline that brings the fuel to Europe’s largest economy via the Baltic Sea.

The work on the 759-mile (1,220km) pipeline is an annual event and requires the gas taps to be closed for 10 to 14 days. But never before in the pipeline’s decade-long history has Germany seriously been asking whether the flow will begin again.

Robert Habeck, Germany’s economy minister, has not shied away from addressing the government’s concerns. On Saturday, he spoke of the “nightmare scenario” that could occur.

“Everything is possible, everything can happen,” Habeck told the broadcaster Deutschlandfunk. “It could be that the gas flows again, maybe more than before. It can also be the case that nothing comes.

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The Guardian, 10 Jul 2022: Germany braces for ‘nightmare’ of Russia turning off gas for good