German Vice Chancellor and Economics Minister Robert Habeck has called on his country’s gas consumers to reduce demand for natural gas. The statement responds to Gazprom’s decision to reduce flows through its Nordstream 1 pipeline to 40% of capacity. Gazprom’s explanation is that it is awaiting replacement equipment from Canada, which has blocked the shipment because of the sanctions western countries have imposed on Russia. The German government dismisses that explanation, saying that the required maintenance doesn’t need to be done now.
Vice Chancellor Habeck has framed the issue as one of price, not supply. He said that Germany can offset Russian imports through purchases on the international gas market. However, that will likely result in higher prices.