June 16 (UPI) -- Russia's state-owned gas producer said Thursday it was cutting its output to Europe, causing Germany to warn its citizens to conserve.
The multinational Russian gas giant Gazprom blamed the reduced output on a maintenance issue in a statement.
"Regarding the operation of the Portovaya Compressor station. Due to the expiration of prescribed time before overhaul (in line with the Rostekhnadzor notification and taking into account the technical condition of the relevant machine), Gazprom is shutting down one more gas turbine engine produced by Siemens at the Portovaya CS," the company said on Twitter.
"The daily throughput of the Portovaya CS from 1:30 am June 16 will be up to 67 million cubic meters."
Gazprom initially said Tuesday it would lower the amount from 167 to 100 million cubic meters because of a faulty gas compressor. The company said it is unable to access necessary replacement parts because they are blocked by sanctions against Russia.
The news comes as leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Romania made a high-profile visit to Ukraine, meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to show support for the country after more than three months of war.
The Portovaya compressor station is the starting point for gas supplies through the Nord Stream pipeline, which transports gas from Russia to Europe through the Baltic Sea. In February, Germany canceled certification of a twinned second line over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Germany warned its citizens Thursday to start being judicious with their gas consumption. The country started publishing a daily situation report at the end of March.
"The gas flows from the Nord Stream 1 were throttled yesterday from 11:00 p.m. to around 40% of the maximum capacity. At the moment we cannot confirm a causal connection between the missing gas compressor on the Russian side and the large reduction in deliveries," Germany's Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection said on its website.
It said on Twitter Thursday, "companies can currently obtain the missing quantities elsewhere on the market."
Politicians see the move as an attack on Europe over its rebuke of Russia's war in Ukraine.
"I have the impression that what happened ... is a political decision and not a technically justifiable decision," German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck said Tuesday.