Russia announces further cut in gas supply for Germany

Russia's largest gas company Gazprom has announced a reduction in natural gas flows to Germany via the Nord Stream pipeline for the second straight day.

The state-affiliated energy giant said on Wednesday that the new cut, which would result in an overall reduction of 60 percent, would begin from Thursday. It blamed the drop on delays in the maintenance of equipment.

Gazprom said on the previous day that it would reduce flows by 40 percent for the same reason.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in a news conference on Wednesday that the maintenance was scheduled for the autumn and not yet necessary.

Habeck criticized the Russians in a statement following the latest cut, saying that their strategy was obviously to unsettle conditions and drive up prices.

The minister also said there were no gas supply problems in Germany, and stressed that he will continue to keep a close watch on the situation and take measures as necessary.