Russia shut down the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline on Monday, as officials from the Kremlin use the energy source as a way of pressuring Europe to drop sanctions pushed towards them due to their unprovoked war with Ukraine.

Speaking to the press about the indefinite shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov blamed the sanctions put up against Russia by the West, and threatened to keep the pipeline closed until the sanctions are lifted, according to the BBC.

“Pumping problems arose because of sanctions imposed against our country and against a number of companies by Western states, including Germany and the U.K.,” Peskov said. “There are no other reasons that would lead to problems with pumping.”

The line has recently been closed due to an alleged leak that the European Union has disputed. Prices of natural gas in Europe skyrocketed after the announcement of the closure, with as much as a 30% rise in prices as countries worry about where they would get their gas supply for the winter, Reuters reported.

“Supply is hard to come by, and it becomes harder and harder to replace every bit of gas that doesn't come from Russia,” Jacob Mandel, a commodities expert from Aurora Energy Research, said.

As prices rise and the supply of natural gas to buy becomes thinner, energy ministers from across Europe are meeting as a way of figuring out how to mitigate the crisis, with Germany considering industry rationing while businesses from the U.K. ask for government support on soaring electric bills.

“There’s plenty of scope to replace that (Russian) gas with LNG imports for now, but when the weather turns cold and demand starts to pick up in the winter in Europe and Asia, there's only so much LNG out there that Europe can import,” Mandel said.

The U.K. is also expected to reveal their plans to mitigate the upcoming energy crisis as newly-elected Prime Minister Liz Truss announces her plans regarding overcoming the escalating crisis.

Russia closed its gas pipeline to Europe on Monday, as it admits that it will not return service to the continent until the sanctions put against the country are lifted. This is a representational image. SELİM ARDA ERYILMAZ/Unsplash.

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