The Kremlin denied a claim that a turbine for the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which transports gas from Russia to Germany, was stalled in transit on Friday.
According to Reuters, who cited two people with knowledge of the situation, Russia has not yet granted the go-ahead for the turbine to be transported back to its territory.
In a conference call with reporters, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov dismissed the report as “nonsense”.
“The accusations are groundless. The sources are wrong,” he said.
Russia cut the flow through Nord Stream 1 to 40% of its capacity in June, citing the delayed return of the turbine from routine maintenance in Canada.
Western sanctions prohibited the smooth return of the turbine, which usually operates at the Russian Portovaya compressor station, with Canada having to issue a special waiver to allow its delivery to Germany.
However, Germany dismisses Russia’s argument that the turbine is the reason for the reduction in supplies via Nord Stream 1, and says the turbine was anyway meant to be used only from September.
It says Moscow is in fact using gas flows as a political weapon.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said this that week Russia was still awaiting documentation from the turbine manufacturer, Siemens Energy, and that he did not know what condition it would be in when it was returned.
He also said Gazprom was due to send other Nord Stream 1 turbines for maintenance in the near future.