The Russian natural gas supplies to Germany, which come from the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 1, have now been halted for 10 days for annual maintenance work.
But the German economy minister Robert Habeck has said that the EU countries had to prepare in case the gas shipments did not resume. He has also accused Moscow of using natural gas "as a weapon" as the EU had imposed sanctions due to the ongoing war.
The economic minister has also admitted that Germany is dependent on Russia for natural gas supply. He has also said that as "a grave political mistake as we can see today, which we are trying to remedy as quickly as we possibly can."
The German government is worried that the gas supplies could be reduced or cut permanently. While the pipeline maintenance work is very normal every summer or in the winters when the demand is lower, the only reason to worry is that Russia may not supply natural gas without any interruption.
The head of the International Energy Agency Fatih Birol has also warned that Russia may cut off the natural gas supply entirely, and Europe needs to prepare now.
Now the pipeline shutdown is also affecting Italy, where the Energy group Eni has said that it would receive about a third less gas from Russia's Gazprom from Monday compared with average volumes supplied over the past few days.
While Russia has already cut the natural gas supply to Poland, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Finland over the refusal to comply with the Rubles, while Austria and the Czech Republic get some supply of natural gas from the Nord Stream 1, the same Russian gas flows to them via the Ukraine pipeline hence there is a constant threat of supply disruption.
Meanwhile, Mr. Habeck visited Prague and signed an agreement with the Czech Republic pledging mutual help in the event because of the sharp drop in the Russian gas supplies.