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Kremlin disavows any criticism over delayed return of turbine for Nord Stream

Any blame directed at Russia due to the delayed return of the turbine for the Nord Stream pipeline from Canada is groundless, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.

Earlier Reuters reported citing sources that the turbine got stuck during transit in Germany, allegedly because of lack of a permit from Russia.

Peskov recalled the statement by President Vladimir Putin, on the night of July 20 in Tehran, that as of that time, Moscow had not received any legal, technological, or any other documentation on this turbine.

"Therefore, any sort of admonishment [against Russia] is utterly unfounded, in this case it's the wrong sources," the Kremlin spokesman said. He stressed that in this story "the primary source" should be referred to, which is Gazprom.

Peskov also pointed to the data of foreign media sources that claimed the Russian side allegedly did not provide information on where exactly the turbine should be brought to.

"This is complete nonsense, because Siemens knows perfectly well where this turbine is installed. That is, this is just an absurd report from sources," Putin's press secretary emphasized.

Since mid-June, the Nord Stream project has been operating at 40% of its maximum capacity due to the delayed return of gas compressor units from maintenance work. One of the turbines built by Siemens Energy in Canada was sent to Montreal for an overhaul. The producer refused to return the repaired turbine to Germany due to Canada's sanctions against Russia.

On July 9, after numerous requests, Canada decided to return the turbine to Germany. The return date has not been defined yet. The European Commission said that such actions do not violate sanctions against Russia since these measures do not apply to gas transit equipment.

However, Gazprom did not receive documents from Siemens on the return of the gas turbine engine and sent a new request to the German company. The Russian gas giant spotlighted the fact that the return of the turbine under the conditions of sanctions and the subsequent overhaul of other engines affect the safe operation of Nord Stream.

President Vladimir Putin said that if the turbine for Nord Stream is not returned to Russia, only 30 million cubic meters of gas per day can be pumped along the route instead of the current 60 million cubic meters. He highlighted the fact that at the end of July "another turbine should be sent" for maintenance work.

[Source: Tass, Moscow, 22Jul22]

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