Nord Stream gas pipeline sabotaged, creating environmental disaster; some supect Biden administration is responsible

Nord Stream gas pipeline sabotaged, creating environmental disaster; some supect Biden administration is responsible

On Monday, seismologists recorded two major explosions around the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea that connect Russia to Germany.

The explosions, recorded on the Danish island of Bornholm, were followed by dramatic falls in pressure in the pipeline.

Experts believe the explosions were the result of sabotage. A Danish military flight over the region showed an area of bubbling gas a kilometer wide on the sea’s surface.


Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and her Swedish counterpart Magdalena Andersson said on Tuesday that leaks in the Nord Stream pipelines were “deliberate.” “We have Swedish intelligence, but we have also received information in our contacts with Denmark, and based on this concluded that this is probably a deliberate act. It is probably a matter of sabotage,” Andersson said.  Frederiksen was asked whether she thought the incident was an attack on Denmark, Frederiksen said that since the leaks happened in international waters,  “the answer is thus no.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted, “any deliberate disruption of active European energy infrastructure is unacceptable & will lead to the strongest possible response.”

The leak from both of Nord Stream 1’s two lines comes a few hours after one of Nord Stream 2’s pipelines showed a drop in pressure. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline was designed to double the flow of Russian gas directly to Germany and though construction was completed in 2021 shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine, it was never activated.

The Nord Stream 1 stopped delivering gas to Germany earlier this month. Although neither pipeline is in operation, they both still contain gas under pressure. The Danish energy authority told the Reuters news agency that the leak could continue for several days and perhaps even a week.

“‘Gas leak’ from NS-1 is nothing more that a terrorist attack planned by Russia and an act of aggression towards EU,” Ukrainian presidential advisor Mikhaylo Podolyak wrote on Twitter. “[Russia] wants to destabilize economic situation in Europe and cause pre-winter panic. The best response and security investment — tanks for [Ukraine]. Especially German ones…”

“The large-scale ‘gas leak’ from Nord Stream 1 is nothing more than a terrorist attack planned by Russia and an act of aggression towards the EU,” Kyiv’s presidential advisor Mikhaylo Podolyak wrote on Twitter.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that initial reports of apparent damage to the Nord Stream pipeline indicate it may be the result of sabotage.

“These are initial reports and we haven’t confirmed that yet,” Blinken told reporters at the State Department.

“Now, my understanding is the leaks will not have a significant impact on Europe’s energy resilience. And what’s critical is that we are working day in and day out both on a short-term basis and a long-term basis to address energy security for Europe and for that matter around the world,” Blinken added.

The German magazine Spiegel reported that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had warned Germany several weeks ago about possible attacks on the gas pipelines.

Fox News’s Tucker Carlson reported on the incident by suggesting a different angle. He noted that the incident, clearly an act of intentional sabotage, released huge amounts of methane into the atmosphere and was an environmental catastrophe. But, Carlson reasoned, it was highly unlikely that Russia would destroy its own gas pipeline. He noted that the supply of gas was Russia’s main source of wealth and power over European countries. Carlson quoted Blinken as saying that blowing up the pipeline was “in no one’s interest.”

Carlson then noted that this was not exactly accurate. He presented a video from February in which President Biden stated to the press that he would destroy the Nord Stream pipelines should Russia invade Ukraine. Less than three weeks later, Russia invaded Ukraine.

“If Russia invades…there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2,” Biden said.

. The president was challenged by a reporter who noted that the pipeline was under the control of Germany. 

“I promise you, we will be able to do that,” Biden said enigmatically.

Carlson noted that Victoria Nuland, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, stated in January that after dialogue with Germany, it had been decided that “if Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 would not move forward.”

This seems to be the opinion of other world leaders as well. “Thank you USA,” former Polish minister and member of the European Parliament Radoslaw Sikorsky tweeted on Tuesday. Sikorsky later tweeted, in Polish, that damage to Nord Stream means that Russia will have to “talk to the countries controlling the Brotherhood and Yamal gas pipelines, Ukraine and Poland” if it wishes to continue delivering gas to Europe. “Good work,” he concluded.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wondered if Sikorsky’s tweet amounted to an “official statement that this was a terrorist attack.” Meanwhile, Moscow’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyanskiy, thanked Sikorsky for “making it crystal clear who stands behind this terrorist-style targeting of civilian infrastructure!”

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre addressed the destruction of the pipelines, putting a positive spin on the environmental catastrophe by saying “it is another opportunity for you to buy an electric car.”

The incident comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin has renewed his threats to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia amid the war in Ukraine. 




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