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Nord Stream 1: Russia shuts major gas pipeline to Europe

Russia has completely halted gas supplies to Europe via a major pipeline, saying repairs are needed, the BBC reports.

The Russian state-owned energy giant, Gazprom, said the restrictions on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would last for the next three days.

Russia has already significantly reduced gas exports via the pipeline.

The Nord Stream 1 pipeline stretches 1,200km under the Baltic Sea from the Russian coast near St Petersburg to north-eastern Germany.

It opened in 2011, and can send a maximum of 170m cubic meters of gas per day from Russia to Germany.

The pipeline was shut down for 10 days in July – again for repairs, according to Russia – and has recently been operating at just 20% capacity because of what Russia describes as faulty equipment.

European leaders fear Russia could extend the outage in an attempt to drive up gas prices, which have already risen by 400%.

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