Nord Stream Sleuthing Leaves The Pipeline Community No Wiser
After weeks of frenetic finger-pointing and accusations concerning who is truly to blame for the explosion and subsequent rupture of Nord Stream 1&2 gas pipelines, there is little to suggest that the new revelations are anything more than idle speculation.
Purportedly, in the esteemed New York Times, "new intelligence reviewed by U.S. officials suggests that a pro-Ukrainian group carried out the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines last year, a step toward determining responsibility for an act of sabotage that has confounded investigators on both sides of the Atlantic for months."
Yet at the same time "Sweden and Denmark, in whose exclusive economic zones the explosions occurred, have concluded that the pipelines carrying natural gas from Russia to Germany were blown up deliberately but questions remain as to the culprits and who may have ordered the attacks, which severely damaged Russia's ability to ship gas to the West to generate revenues during its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine."
Some initial U.S. and European speculation centered on possible Russian culpability, especially given its prowess in undersea operations, though it is unclear what motivation the Kremlin would have in sabotaging the pipelines given that they have been an important source of revenue and a means for Moscow to exert influence over Europe. One estimate put the cost of repairing the pipelines starting at about $500 million. U.S. officials say they have not found any evidence of involvement by the Russian government in the attack.
Perhaps the most trenchant remark was made by European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, attending a meeting of the bloc's defense ministers in Stockholm on March 8, when he warned against jumping to conclusions on the matter.
"I am not afraid of the truth. Any truth. But we are talking about...speculations," he said.
"As long as investigations are ongoing, we cannot draw definitive conclusions. I have to wait for having a clear understanding for what has (been) happening."