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Russia's Gazprom, Siemens Energy at odds over turbine delay

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·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: Pipes at the landfall facilities of the 'Nord Stream 1' gas pipline in Lubmin
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FRANKFURT (Reuters) -A senior manager at Russia's Gazprom said on Wednesday that the company was still awaiting the return of a Siemens Energy turbine for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, blaming the German company for the delay.

Siemens Energy said it was up to Gazprom to supply the required customs papers for the return of the turbine after servicing in Canada.

Russia has cited turbine problems as its reason for cutting gas supply via Nord Stream 1 - its main gas link to Europe - to just 20% of capacity from Wednesday.

The European Union has accused Russia of energy blackmail, which Moscow denies, as the two sides trade economic blows and hostile rhetoric over the war in Ukraine.

Gazprom's Deputy Chief Executive Vitaly Markelov told Rossiya 24 TV: "We had counted on receiving one repaired engine from Siemens (Energy) as far back as May, but as of today we haven't got this engine."

He said further turbines needed repair but "Siemens does not provide work to solve these problems."

Siemens Energy said on Wednesday any future maintenance work could be facilitated as the Canadian government had already agreed the turbines, maintained by the company in Montreal, could be transported from Canada to Germany.

The company added it has not received any damage reports for Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline turbines from Russia's Gazprom and does not have access to turbines on site. "Therefore, we have to assume that the turbines are operating normally," the company said in a statement.

Siemens Energy says the transportation of the serviced turbine could start immediately.

"The German authorities provided Siemens Energy with all the necessary documents for the export of the turbine to Russia. What is missing, however, are the customs documents for import to Russia. Gazprom, as the customer, is required to provide those," it said.

The turbine is needed for Nord Stream 1's Portovaya compressor station, which pumps gas to Germany through the 1,200 km-long (750 mile) pipeline on the bed of the Baltic Sea.

The drop in supply is hampering EU efforts to build up gas storage before next winter, raising the risk of shortages and rationing.

Moscow says it is a reliable oil and gas supplier, and the issues with the repair and return of the turbine are an example of economic sanctions rebounding on the West. The European Union and the United States imposed sanctions following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late February.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz in Frankfurt, Reuters bureaux; Editing by Mark Trevelyan and Josie Kao)

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