Putin ‘playing economic war extremely well’ says Knight
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Mr Zelensky used his Saturday evening address to warn the bloc they could be facing an escalating winter crisis after the Nord Stream 1 pipeline failed to reopen last week. Russian state-owned gas company, Gazprom, had been expected to reopen the key pipeline following planned repairs.
The Nord Stream 1 pipeline transports gas under the Baltic Sea to European states such as Germany.
It is the largest pipeline from Russia to Europe.
A three-day shutdown of gas flow through the pipeline was scheduled to end on Saturday morning.
But Gazprom said on Friday that the pipeline would remain out of action indefinitely due to a fault uncovered during maintenance.
A statement posted on the energy company’s Twitter page described an “oil leakage”, meaning that “gas transmission via the Nord Stream gas pipeline has been fully shut down until the operational defects in the equipment are eliminated”.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov suggested further disruptions to gas supplies via Nord Stream 1 could be possible.
He said on Friday: “It’s not the fault of Gazprom that the resources are missing.
“Therefore, the reliability of the entire system is at risk.”
Nord Stream 1 was shut for a week and a half back in July, and has since only been operating at a fifth of its full capacity.
Mr Zelensky told European countries in his speech: “Russia is preparing a decisive energy blow on all Europeans for this winter.”
The news came shortly after G7 countries committed to imposing a price cap on Russian oil, intended to weaken Putin’s financial ability to continue the war in Ukraine.
Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi said: “We will curtail Putin’s capacity to fund his war from oil exports by banning services, such as insurance and the provision of finance, to vessels carrying Russian oil above an agreed price cap.
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“We are united against this barbaric aggression and will do all we can to support Ukraine as they fight for sovereignty, democracy and freedom.”
The Kremlin furiously responded that Russia would refuse to export oil to countries signing up to the price ceiling.
Peskov said: “Companies that impose a price cap will not be among the recipients of Russian oil.”
The UK quickly committed to ridding itself of dependence on Russian oil by the end of the year after Russian forces invaded Ukraine.
Russian oil accounts for around eight percent of total UK demand.
But as energy prices put even more pressure on UK households, both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have brought rising energy bills to the forefront of the agenda.
Speaking on Sunday morning, Mr Sunak called energy prices a “genuine emergency”, and did not rule out the possibility of blackouts.
Ms Truss added: “The reality is that we haven’t done as much as we should have done as a country to protect our energy security.”
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