Russia is pumping a lot less natural gas to Europe all of a sudden — and it is not clear why

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An output filtration facility of a gas treatment unit at the Slavyanskaya compressor station (operated by Gazprom), the starting point of the Nord Stream 2 offshore natural gas pipeline. According to Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, the construction of Nord Stream 2 will be completed by the end of this year.Peter Kovalev | TASS | Getty ImagesLONDON — Russia has slowed the delivery of piped natural gas to Europe in recent weeks, according to analysis from ICIS, a commodity intelligence service, raising questions about the potential causes behind the drop and its implications for global gas markets.It comes shortly after German Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to ease long-running concerns about the nearly completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline, saying further sanctions may be imposed if Moscow used gas "as a weapon."The controversial project is designed to deliver Russian gas directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine and Poland.Critics argue the pipeli
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