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German economy minister says 'bitter reality' is Russia will not resume gas supply

FILE PHOTO: German Economy and Climate Action Minister Robert Habeck at a news conference in Berlin, Germany

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany faces the "bitter reality" that Russia will not restore gas supplies to the country, the German economy minister said on Monday, ahead of planned halt by state energy giant Gazprom of exports to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

"It won't come back ... It is the bitter reality," Robert Habeck said in a panel with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Russia will halt natural gas supplies to Europe for three days at the end of the month for unscheduled maintenance to the Nord Stream pipeline, Gazprom said on Friday, piling pressure on the region as it seeks to refuel ahead of winter.

Already Russia has only been supplying 20% of the usual capacity of the Nord Stream 1 link from Russia to Germany.

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It was not immediately possible to clarify whether Habeck meant the outage would be permanent or just that full supplies would not resume.

(Reporting by Christian Kraemer; Writing by Riham Alkousaa; editing by Barbara Lewis)