Aug. 3 (BP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Wednesday that Russia’s stance that technical issues continue to be the reason for scaled-down gas exports to his country is invalid.
Scholz spoke to reporters in front of a massive turbine being stored at the engineering company Siemens Energy in the German city of Mülheim an der Ruhr.
Russia’s state energy agency, Gazprom, blames the engine of the turbine made by Siemens at the Portovaya compressor station for the reduction in output. It has continually said parts can’t be delivered because of international sanctions imposed over Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
But Scholz rejected that idea on Wednesday, while posing for pictures in front of the massive machine part.
“The turbine is there, it can be delivered. All someone has to do is say I want it, and it will be there very quickly,” he told reporters.
“It is obvious that nothing, nothing at all, stands in the way of the further transport of this turbine and its installation in Russia. It can be transported and used at any time. There is no technical reason whatsoever for the reduction of gas supplies.”
Scholz added that the only reason for the delay was Russia’s refusal to request an onward delivery, and that Germany and other international authorities have the necessary authorizations to allow the turbine to be delivered, despite the sanctions.
The huge turbine has been stored at the German company’s facility since it was finished being refurbished in Canada.
“The sanctions regimes imposed by Canada, the EU and the U.K., as well as the discrepancy between the current situation and the existing contractual obligations on the part of Siemens, are making it impossible to bring the 073 engine to the Portovaya CS,” Gazprom said in a statement Wednesday.
Russia provided 55% of Germany’s natural gas supply before the invasion of Ukraine but that number has significantly dropped since, leaving German officials concerned about the country’s supply before winter.
Gazprom has already reduced or entirely stopped deliveries of gas to a dozen European Union countries, including Poland and Bulgaria, for refusing to pay in rubles, which Russia had demanded in retaliation for sanctions that have been placed on the country for invading Ukraine.