Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom said it had suspended gas flows through Austria to Italy over an issue with the Austrian operator, but the cutoff only targets Italy, as Austria keeps receiving gas, according to Bloomberg. Russia has been regularly accused of weaponizing its gas to blackmail European countries, a policy that intensified after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February.
Since Sept. 26, four leaks have been discovered in the Nord Stream pipelines, which were built to carry gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea.
Last week, Russian submarines were seen near the areas where the leaks were discovered, CNN reported, citing an unnamed Western intelligence official.
According to Manfredi Caltagirone, the UN Environment Programme acting head, the damage to the Nord Stream pipelines has most likely caused the “largest emission” of methane ever recorded, reports Reuters. Experts have not yet confirmed the amount of methane released from the damaged pipelines. “This is the most wasteful way to generate emissions,” Caltagirone said.