Citing alleged “mechanical problems” with the Nord Stream pipeline, Russian authorities on Friday said they were shutting off natural gas to Europe indefinitely, a move that further puts the continent on a possible path to an energy crisis.
State-controlled energy concern Gazprom said technical issues with the 750-mile-long pipeline necessitated the extended closure. Authorities had already scheduled the closure of the pipe for what they said were less-significant repairs to the system.
Officials did not give a timeline for the repairs.
The Nord Stream has become one of the global focus points of Russia’s chafing against the rest of the world as it continues its offensive measures in Ukraine.
The Kremlin has claimed that needed repairs to the pipeline are being stymied by Western sanctions against Russian exports, though western officials have disputed those claims.
The tighter energy market has uncomfortably squeezed an already energy-strapped Europe and have raised fears that European authorities may have to ration energy in the winter months.
Reports have abounded, meanwhile, of German citizens stockpiling significant quantities of wood in order to avoid freezing out during the winter.