Russia has revealed that there is little it can do to help with urgent repairs required to malfunctioning Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline equipment.
Russia cut gas supplies via Nord Stream 1, its main gas pipeline to Europe, to just 20% of capacity recently, saying that a turbine sent to Canada for maintenance had not been returned and other equipment also needed repair.
This signalled a deepening of a row in which Moscow has cited turbine problems as its reason for cutting gas supply via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, Reuters reported.
"There are malfunctions which require urgent repairs and there are certain artificial difficulties which were caused by sanctions," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, following further falls in Gazprom production and exports.
"This situation needs a fix and Russia has a little ability to help here," he added.
Germany's Siemens Energy, the manufacturer, has said it had no access to the turbines on site and had not received any damage reports from Gazprom and so had to assume the turbines were operating normally.
Gas from Russia covered around 40% of European needs before Russia sent troops to Ukraine in February in what it said was a "special military operation".
In line with wide-ranging Western sanctions on Moscow, the EU is seeking to reduce its reliance on Russian energy.
The Nord Stream 1 pipeline is among several routes that transport Russian gas to Europe.
Another major route is the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which works in reverse mode to move gas from Germany to Poland, and exports via Ukraine are also at reduced levels after Kyiv shut one of the two crossing points from Russia amid the military conflict.