Updated Jul 21, 2022 - World

Key Russian gas pipeline resumes supply to Europe

 In this aerial view the receiving station for the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline stands on July 11, 2022 near Lubmin, Germany.
The receiving station for the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline near Lubmin, Germany, was closed for maintenance on July 11 . Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The Russian Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline resumed sending natural gas to Europe on Thursday after a 10-day shutdown for maintenance.

Why it matters: European governments had been concerned the Kremlin wouldn't reopen the pipeline to Germany due to the Russian military's war on Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin's threats to curb gas flows due to Western sanctions.

Yes, but: European leaders of countries that have long been dependent on Russia for fossil fuels remain concerned that Putin will use its resources as a bargaining chip against Western allies of Ukraine and that supplies could be unreliable

Between the lines: "Despite a rush to diversify, Germany remains at the whim of Russia for about a third of its gas supply, and France about a fifth," per the Washington Post.

What's happening: Operator Nord Stream AG told Germany's dpa news agency that the latest gas supply volumes were the same as before the maintenance period — about 40% of maximum supply capacity. 

  • Klaus Müller, president of Germany's Federal Network Agency, tweeted that supplies from Russia's state-owned Gazprom, which exports gas through Nord Stream 1, were running at roughly 30% of the pipeline's capacity on Thursday morning.

What we're watching: European Union leaders, citing risks from "the Kremlin's weaponization of gas exports," proposed plans Wednesday for all member states to reduce natural gas consumption by 15% until spring, per Axios' Ben Geman.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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