The German economy minister warns that Russia could

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Germany should be aware of the possibility of Russia continuing to suspend gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline beyond the planned shutdown for maintenance this month, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Saturday, Reuters reports.

It could be a rational step for Moscow to further reduce or stop gas supplies altogether and would fit a model of action so far to try to destabilize Europe, he said.

“You see a pattern and that can lead to this scenario,” Habeck told Die Zeit in an online interview.

“This could be rational, in order to keep general prices and energy prices high in Germany and to destroy unity and solidarity in the country. No one who thinks normally can rule this out at this time, “he said.

Germany moved to the second phase of a three-tier emergency gas plan last month after Russia cut supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. It is a step before the government can reason on fuel consumption.

The Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which supplies gas from Russia to Europe under the Baltic Sea, is scheduled to be closed for annual maintenance from July 11-21.