Russian state gas company says the pipeline requires maintenance, deepening energy standoff with Europe.

Iran PressEurope: Russia’s state-owned energy company Gazprom has said a key pipeline conveying natural gas to Europe will shut down for three days at the end of this month to undergo “routine maintenance.”

The unscheduled maintenance order on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which runs under the Baltic Sea to Germany, deepens an energy standoff between Moscow and Brussels which has already helped send inflation surging in the region and raised the risk of rationing and recession.

In a statement posted online on Friday, Gazprom said that the only operational turbine at a key compressor station along the pipeline, which links Western Russia and Germany, will shut down for routine maintenance from August 31 to September 2.

Russia has blamed the reductions through the pipeline on technical problems but Germany calls them a political move to sow uncertainty and push up prices amid the conflict in Ukraine. 219