MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday that it's assumed state-owned energy giant Gazprom will carry out maintenance on the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline within three days.
"Those are technical issues. Gazprom has said the stoppage will last three days. We make our assumptions on this statement," Novak told reporters when asked how long the maintenance would last.
Gazprom halted flows on the pipeline to Germany on Wednesday with a resumption expected in the early hours of Saturday.
There has been apprehension in Europe, which is facing fuel shortages and record-high natural gas prices amid tight supplies from Russia, that Gazprom might extend the maintenance period.
The Kremlin-controlled company has already reduced flows through Nord Stream 1, the single biggest pipeline carrying Russian gas to Germany, to 20% of capacity because of what it describes as faulty equipment.
(Reporting by Olesya Astakhova; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)