Shortly after, Sweden reported two more leaks, this time from Nord Stream 1. Almost immediately, both governments ordered an inquiry to determine what it was.
Amidst expert opinion, investigators were able to detect a fourth leak, very close to the two recorded in Nord Stream 1, but which affected gas pipeline number two.
This prompted a series of announcements and allegations from various quarters about what happened, who was behind it and who would benefit from the leaks.
Without role models
Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines are robustly designed. As much of their route is submerged 80 to 110 meters below the sea, various provisions were made when they were built to reduce the risk of damage to the anchor or boat.
The tubes are made of 27 to 41 mm thick steel tubes, internally lined with an anti-friction layer and covered with a 4.2 mm anti-corrosion coating. In addition, they have a third protective layer of concrete with a thickness of 60 to 110 millimeters.
The elements significantly reduce the fact that the pipe can be accidentally damaged by a boat or other elements. Often four times in one night.
On the other hand, although the cracks have not yet been studied in detail, Denmark estimates that they are considerably larger holes based on the bubbles they cause on the surface, sometimes measuring up to a kilometer in area. diameter.
On the other hand, seismological centers in Denmark and Sweden detected explosions on the sea floor in those areas shortly before the leaks were discovered on Monday.
The German authorities, for their part, indicate that this damage to the pipelines required the equivalent of 500 kg of dynamite. According to a report by German newspaper Der Spiegel.
The signs led the European Union to conclude on Wednesday that the leaks were caused by sabotage, although they stopped short of pinpointing a suspect.
On the other hand, from Kyiv, a day earlier, they accused Russia of being behind the leaks.
Scenario 1: It’s Russia
“The Nord Stream 1 gas leak is nothing more than a planned terrorist attack by Russia and an act of aggression against the EU. Russia wants to destabilize the economic situation in Europe and cause panic before winter”, Ukraine’s presidential adviser Mykhaylo Podolyak wrote on Tuesday.
In turn, the American chain on the same day CNN reported that European security officials had observed the Russian ships near the escape zones in previous days, according to sources close to the matter who reported on condition of anonymity.
It should be remembered that gas has been a central issue since Russia decided to invade Ukraine, threatening to cut off supplies on which much of Europe depends unless sanctions launched against Moscow are withdrawn.
However, one might wonder what benefits Russia will get from investing more than 20 billion euros in destroying the currently disabled gas pipelines (which, according to Moscow, were suspended at the beginning of its operations because of Germany’s refusal to issue certification until a second military offensive was suspended from September 1st due to delayed maintenance).
It should also be noted that the German government considers the damage to the two gas pipelines to be irreversible failures due to corrosion caused by seawater intrusion, according to reports from official sources to Der Tagesspiegel newspaper.
On the one hand, analysts believe it could be a Russian attempt to demonstrate its ability to leave Europe without gas. This was pointed out by Spanish energy expert Jorge Morales de Labra and Bloomberg News columnist Javier Blas in London, according to Spanish media.
Morales de Labra told RTVE.es Russia could warn that it is “capable of blowing up the new gas pipeline,” referring to a new pipeline that will carry gas from Norway to Poland, christened the Baltic on Tuesday.
Blas, for his part, acknowledged in statements to Spain’s national radio that President Vladimir Putin “indicated that he can attack whatever infrastructure he wants in the North Sea.”
From Moscow, on the other hand, the answer was not long in coming.
“It was very predictable, it was stupid and ridiculous to advance those versions,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a news conference about the sabotage allegations, which he described as “absurd”.
For Russia, the real culprit lies outside Europe.
Scenario 2: This is America
One of Pesco’s main arguments for rejecting Russia’s authorship of the false flag attack was that the pipes, although not operational, were filled with gas through bubbles on the surface. “Both Nord Stream lines are full of gas, systems are ready to pump it, and this gas is very expensive,” the spokesman was quoted as saying by EFE news agency.
On the other hand, while Sweden, Denmark and other European experts are investigating the leaks, the Russian Prosecutor’s Office has announced that it will open an “international terrorism” investigation into the sabotage.
“It looks like an act of terrorism, probably at the state level,” Peskov told a new press conference. As reported by Reuters. “It’s very hard to imagine these actions happening without some form of government intervention.”
In this regard, Moscow has decided to point the finger of blame at the United States. The Kremlin assures that the sites where the leaks are taking place are under “full control” of US intelligence agencies.
But does this benefit the US? According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, yes. If the gas pipelines stop working, Europe will have to rely on ships from North America, the official assures.
As Morales de Labra explained to RTVE.es, the United States will benefit the most from this situation “because all the gas that does not enter through the gas pipeline must enter by ship from the United States.”
However, the expert clarified that Washington will “already continue to be the main supplier to Europe, and I don’t see that they will export one more drop of gas after the leaks.”
On the other hand, rising gas prices – which had been falling until last week after the crisis caused by the war in Ukraine – will not benefit Joe Biden’s government, which is facing its own internal problems due to inflation in the country. .
For this reason, the White House described the Russian accusation as “ridiculous”. “We all know that Russia has a long history of spreading disinformation, and it’s doing it again,” said a spokesman for the US National Security Council.
Finally, the UN The Security Council announced this Friday that it would hold an extraordinary session at Russia’s request to discuss possible sabotage of gas pipelines.
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