The Sabotage of Nord Stream Pipelines

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Picture taken on 8 October 2012 shows Nord Stream pipeline equipments before the opening ceremony of the North Stream second gas link in Portovaya bay, some 60 kilometers from the town of Vyborg in northwestern Russia. PHOTO: Xinhua/FILE

By Win Myint Han


On 26 September 2022, underwater gas leaks occurred on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines majority-owned by Russia, as they ruptured as a consequence of a bombing that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin dubbed, “an unprecedented act of international terrorism”. Those leaks happened in international waters but in the economic zones of Sweden and Denmark. These two countries and Germany conducted separate investigations into the cause of the damage to the pipelines without letting Russia, the aggrieved party join them in so doing. But they came up with the sole and same cause of the ruptures — explosion with explosive charges — sabotage pure and simple.
Russia first accused the UK and then the US of committing the sabotage. Both denied. In February 2023, Russia formally proposed to the UN Security Council to investigate the cause of the destruction.
As direct evidence to ascertain who was really responsible for the sabotage could not be available now or never, the culprit should be identified, based on the circumstantial evidence obtained so far, as there is no choice.
In doing so, we should make use of the famous Sherlockian maxim of exclusion whereby those less likely accused are excluded one after another based on the more or less degree of probability and finally finding the lone likeliest party left – the real culprit.

Some unscrupulous people accused Russia of destroying its own pipelines in order to justify its reduced supply of natural gas to Europe before the sabotage. That allegation is as absurd and funny as a big joke because the seller has every right to sell its goods to whom and for how much. As no conclusive evidence was found that Russia was responsible, European and US officials no longer suspected Russia.

Despite being extremely willing to destruct any of the physical infrastructure and assets etc., of Russia, its adversary, Ukraine dare not destroy the pipelines, because if it did so, then Russia would be justified to terminate the agreement under which Ukrainian grains were allowed to be sent abroad from the black sea ports at best. And at worst Putin would be emboldened by the sabotage to recklessly resort to the use of tactical nukes against the Ukrainian forces.

3.Sweden, Denmark and Norway
Even though those nations have nothing special either to like or dislike Russia before the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, Sweden, feeling unsafe by Putin’s trigger–happiness, is seeking to join NATO. Norway is even called a “war profiteer” because of its huge sale of gas and petroleum, as Russia reduced its supply of energy to Europe. As they are, comparatively speaking rather rich and peaceful, they would never antagonize Russia by any means possible for no beneficial outcome to them. 4.UK
As one and only power to have been established and acclaimed as the empire where the sun never sets, the UK still maintains some sense of fairness and justice wherever possible and would not become so low and mean as to commit such a horrific crime against a nation with whom it is not in a state of war.

As it almost wholly relied on Russia before the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict for its supply of natural gas and petroleum, it is very unlikely to destruct the pipelines which used to carry the gas to it, even though just before the sabotage no gas was sent through them. Despite no less sounding anti-Russian than the US President Joe Biden as regards, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was a little bit reluctant to supply Ukraine with the most advanced weapons, even though finally he was pressured to send the latest model Leopard 2 tanks. As he could and would not forget how his nation (Hitler’s Germany) was defeated and occupied by Russia, he would not venture a blunder which is not inevitable.
6.United States of America
The US, the great Satan, as named by Iran is the sole hyperpower on this planet even though not being superior in terms of military potential to Russia, the first Nation to possess intercontinental ballistic missiles and the only one to have test-exploded a 50 or so megatonne nuclear device. Millions and millions of people worldwide think very highly of the US as the Champion of Democracy and Human Rights and regard and rely on it as the saviour of the weak. Following the end of the second world war, Germany and Japan achieved rapid economic growth due mainly to the all-out assistance from the US.
The US had many times contributed in very large amounts financially to international organizations under the UN for the promotion of education, health etc for the world people. Consequently is the US a good Samaritan? No, No, No never. It is the one and only nation in the world to have used nuclear weapons as it caused more than 100,000 fatalities and injuries to innocent Japanese people by dropping two atomic bombs in 1945 over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In Viet Nam also hundreds of thousands of people perished owing to all kinds of bombs dropped by the US, capping it with the world-notorious Mylai Massacre. In that Village, many innocent, unarmed women and old people (as the able-bodied men went away to fight) were killed by a detachment of US soldiers commanded by Lieutenant Willian Calley. Atrocities committed and caused in Iraq by the US were not cited not to lengthen the essay.
Firstly, Seymour Hersh, an American Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist had openly accused the US of getting involved in the sabotage as ordered by President Biden. And it was also alleged that when Joe Biden and Olaf Scholz held a joint press conference on 7 February 2022 the former blatantly said “If Russia invades … again there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it ”. Accordingly, Biden is believed to have caused the sabotage to be done as he had warned.
Moreover, in addition to the foregoing mentioned above other nations like Germany, the UK, Sweden, Denmark and Norway would not risk a very serious frontal confrontation with Russia for what they would gain nothing.
In summing up the facts and clues obtained and learnt so far, all fingers are pointing to Uncle Sam as the main culprit responsible for the Sabotage.
From the very beginning, the US was opposed to Nord Stream pipelines and placed obstacles to slow the completion of the pipe-laying.
Since Biden’s administration is helping Ukraine with a massive supply of cash, advanced weapons etc., the sabotage would be most likely concerned with Biden’s own personal motive. That is to improve and redeem his plummeting presidency approval rating, as the American people would come to learn this in due course.
As long as direct evidence is not available, the US would keep denying its involvement.
Despite the Russian proposal for the investigation by the UN Security Council, nothing would come out, even if the Council would like to condemn the US as the culprit with nine aye votes because the US itself and its allies UK and France have the veto power to annul the Council’s resolution.

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