Russian energy giant Gazprom on Wednesday suspended gas deliveries to Germany on a major pipeline, the latest in a series of supply halts that have fueled an energy crisis in Europe.

Gazprom said supplies via Nord Stream 1 were “completely halted” for “preventive work” on a compressor unit, shortly after European gas network operator ENTSOG announced supplies had been halted.

Gazprom has also said it would suspend gas deliveries to France’s main supplier, Engie, from Thursday after it failed to pay all deliveries in July.

The latest stop comes as European countries have faced rising energy prices since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February and subsequently curtailed its gas supplies to the region.

Germany, which is heavily dependent on Russian gas, has accused Moscow of using energy as a “weapon”.

But Gazprom has said the three-day maintenance work was “necessary” and should be done after “every 1,000 hours of operation”.

Klaus Mueller, head of Germany’s Federal Network Agency, called the decision a “technically incomprehensible” decision, warning that it was likely just a pretext for Moscow to use energy supplies as a threat.

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Experience shows that Moscow “makes a political decision after every so-called meeting,” he said, adding that “we won’t know until early September whether Russia will do that again.”

AFP

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