The Russian energy giant Gazprom has announced that the Nord Stream pipeline 1 will not restart on schedule on Saturday, citing damage to the turbine engine.
In a statement, the company did not give a time frame for restarting the pipeline, claiming it detected an oil leak at the main gas turbine at Portovaya compressor station near St Petersburg.
It said the turbine could not operate safely until the leak was repaired.
The Russian energy giant Gazprom announced that the Nord Stream pipeline 1 will not restart on schedule on Saturday, citing damage to the turbine engine. Officials blamed sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine for the halting of gas deliveries to Europe. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller indicated that Siemens could not perform repairs on the turbines damaged by the oil leak because of sanctions against the Russian state energy giant.
The chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Mariano Grossi, who returned from a first visit to the Zaporizhzhia plant, told reporters that six of the experts remain at the site to continue with the work. He said the team will produce a report early next week of their findings. Grossi added military operations are increasing in the region of the plant “which worries me a lot” and that the military presence were not available when he asked to speak to them about the control center, they did not approach his team, and they were ” withdrawn” throughout their visit.
Group of Seven (G7) finance ministers have announced they plan to implement a price cap on Russian oil. In a statement, G7 ministers said the cap was designed to reduce “Russia’s ability to fund its war of aggression” and said they would “urgently work on the finalization and implementation” of the measure but left out key details of the plan.
Prior to the G7 announcement, the Kremlin warned that imposing a price cap on Russian oil exports would trigger Russian retaliation. If G7 leaders decide to impose price caps on Russian oil, it will lead to significant destabilization of the global oil market, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.
Ukraine’s military has claimed that Russian forces suffered “significant losses” in the southern region of Kherson following Kyiv’s counteroffensive launched earlier this week. Ukraine’s successes have been “quite convincing”, according to a spokesperson for the southern Ukrainian military command, who added that more “positive news” will likely follow “very soon”.
Ukrainian troops have pushed back Russian forces at several points around Kherson, according to western officials. Officials estimate that about 20,000 Russian troops are in the pocket of the southern region, and caution that it is too soon to determine if Ukraine’s counterattack is working.
The “physical integrity” of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in south-eastern Ukraine has been “violated”, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said. Rafael Grossi, who led a team of inspectors to the Russian-controlled plant on Thursday, said that although he would continue to worry about the plant, the situation was “more predictable” now.
An expert team from the UN nuclear agency plan to stay at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant after gaining long-awaited access to the site on Thursday. “We are not going anywhere. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is now there, it is at the plant and it is not moving – it’s going to stay there,” Grossi told reporters after returning to Ukrainian-held territory.
Ukrainian officials have accused Russia of manipulating and distorting information shared with the IAEA. Ukrainian state-owned operator Energoatom said in a statement that Russian officials “are making every effort to prevent the IAEA mission from getting to know the real state of affairs. They spread manipulative and false information about this visit.”
Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu has accused Ukraine of “nuclear terrorism”. Pro-Russian proxy authorities in Zaporizhzhia have accused Kyiv of trying to smuggle “spies” into the IAEA inspection team posing as journalists.
The head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin, has restated the expansionist military aims of Russia’s invasion. “Our task is to liberate all Russian cities that were founded by Russian people during the time of the Russian Empire, and developed during the Soviet Union thanks to the help of our entire vast country,” Pushilin said. “This is not only the territories of Novorossia [the Donbas], but also much wider. It will not be any other way.”
Ukraine’s military said it carried out strikes against Russian positions in the region around the southern town of Enerhodar near a nuclear power plant where UN experts are working, Reuters reports.
The revelation by the armed forces’ general staff was unusual, since the military rarely gives details of specific targets.
A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency is gathering data at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, on the edge of Russian-occupied Enerhodar.
“It has been confirmed that in the region around the towns of Kherson and Enerhodar, precise strikes by our armed forces destroyed three enemy artillery systems as well as a warehouse with ammunition and up to a company of soldiers,” the general staff said in a Facebook post.
Gazprom officials have already blamed sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine for the halting of gas deliveries to Europe.
In a statement, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller indicated that Siemens could not perform repairs on the turbines damaged by the oil leak because of sanctions against the Russian state energy giant.
“Siemens currently has almost no possibility to provide regular overhauls of our gas-pumping units. Siemens simply has nowhere to do this work,” Miller said, according to Interfax.
Russia has asked for 56 visas from the United States to allow Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and his delegation to travel to New York for the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations this month, but so far has received none.
In a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, seen by Reuters, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said this was “alarming” because during the past several months Washington had “been constantly refusing to grant entry visas” to a number of Russian delegates for other UN events
The United States takes seriously its obligations as a UN host country, said a State Department spokesperson, adding that visa records are confidential under US law so it could not comment on individual cases.
On Tuesday, Grossi says he will be briefing the UN Security Council on the findings from their visit.
And that concludes the press conference from Vienna.
Grossi says the IAEA is planning a bigger safety structure for the plant.
Grossi says he does not want to compare the situation at the plant to other examples such as Chernobyl.
Grossi says the military presence was not available when he asked to speak to them about the control center, they did not approach his team, and they were “withdrawn” throughout their visit.
Grossi says he hopes the IAEA does not have to be a constant presence there and the day comes when the plant is operating normally and inspectors and experts can visit occasionally.
Grossi says the IAEA will not be “manipulated” by any member states and does not listen to external noise.
Grossi reiterates that international inspectors being there and reporting back 24/7 could be a “stabilising factor” in terms of the safety and security of the plant.
The IAEA chief adds another crisis center has been set up at the plant.
He adds that everything that he requested to be seen was inspected.
Grossi says he would never send a person to a place that he would not go to first.
He adds his team on the ground at the Zaporizhzhia plant are in constant communication with him.
Grossi says the military operations are increasing in the region of the plant “which worries me a lot”.
He says the statistical probability of further physical damage to the plant is therefore high since shelling began there in August.