European nations hit by cuts to Russian gas supplies

A host of European nations say they are being hit by cuts to Russian natural gas supplies via the Nord Stream pipeline.

The German government said on Friday that Russian gas giant Gazprom has reduced supplies by about 60 percent.

It said the move is also affecting France, Austria and the Czech Republic, which all receive gas via pipelines from Germany.

A French pipeline operator said on Friday that the flow of Russian gas from Germany has stopped entirely since Wednesday.

Gazprom cited delays to the delivery of repaired equipment when it announced the cuts on Wednesday.

But officials in Germany say the firm is trying to drive up prices and deal an economic blow to the country, which depends heavily on Russian energy supplies.

Italian energy company Eni said on Friday that Gazprom had given notification of a 50-percent reduction in pipeline deliveries.

Italy has relied on Russia for 40 percent of its natural gas imports.

The affected countries say they are working to secure supplies from other sources.