Dave DeCamp International Russia

Explosions Cause Major Damage to Both Nord Stream Pipelines

A Polish member of European Parliament suggested the US was responsible.
Photo by Tim Reckmann via Flickr

By Dave DeCamp / Antiwar.com

European officials on Tuesday said massive leaks in the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines that were caused by explosions were likely the result of sabotage, raising questions on who the culprit might be.

The Nord Stream pipelines connect Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea. Russia recently stopped shipping gas through Nord Stream 1 indefinitely, and the construction of Nord Stream 2 has been completed, but the pipeline has never been fully operational as Berlin suspended the project after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Two leaks were discovered in Nord Stream 1, and one leak was discovered in Nord Stream 2 after the operator reported a sudden drop in pressure overnight Monday. While neither pipeline has been delivering to Europe, both contain gas under pressure.

Two underwater explosions were recorded earlier on Monday near the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, which is where the leaks occurred. Nord Stream AG, the operator of the pipelines, said it was not possible to estimate when the damage could be fixed.

EU, Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish officials all said the damage was likely caused by a deliberate attack. Over in Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that sabotage could not be ruled out.

Radek Sikorski, a former Polish foreign minister and current Member of European Parliament, suggested on Twitter that Washington was behind the attack. He posted a picture on Twitter of the disturbance in the water caused by the leaks and wrote, “Thank you, USA.”

In another tweet, Sikorski, who is married to American journalist Anne Applebaum, described his view that the US was responsible as a “hypothesis.” He also celebrated the attack, saying that “$20 billion of scrap metal lies at the bottom of the sea, another cost to Russia of its criminal decision to invade Ukraine.”

According to a report from Germany’s Der Spiegel, the US had foreknowledge of a possible attack on the pipelines. Citing unnamed sources, Spiegel reported that the German government received a tip over the summer from the CIA that Nord Stream could be attacked, and Berlin assumed both pipelines could be targeted.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline has long been in the crosshairs of Washington and the US had tried to stop its construction by imposing sanctions. Before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, President Biden said the US would “bring an end” to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

When asked how the US could end the pipeline since it’s in Germany’s control, Biden said, “I promise you, we will be able to do that.” Back in January, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland made similar comments. “If Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward,” she said.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday commented on the attacks on the pipelines, saying the damage was in nobody’s interest. “There are initial reports indicating that this may be the result of an attack or some kind of sabotage, but these are initial reports and we haven’t confirmed that yet,” he said. “But if it is confirmed, that’s clearly in no one’s interest.”

Ukraine accused Russia of being behind the incident, but Moscow has little reason to attack the pipelines. Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that if Europe wanted gas, it could open Nord Stream 2. “The bottom line is, if you have an urge, if it’s so hard for you, just lift the sanctions on Nord Stream 2, which is 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year, just push the button and everything will get going,” he said.

The attacks on Nord Stream coincided with the inauguration of the Baltic Pipe, another natural gas pipeline that will carry gas from Norway through Denmark to Poland. “The era of Russian domination of gas is coming to an end, an era marked by blackmail, threats and coercion,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said at a ceremony for the pipeline, which the EU says should start transporting gas on October 1.

Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.

17 comments

  1. Washington is INSANE.

    This is so bad I don’t even have words….

    It’s the end of the world as we know it.

  2. There are two frightening parts of this sabotage attack that very few are discussing.

    First, whomever you think is responsible, this removes one of the off-roads to peace from the ongoing war in Ukraine. In doing so, it almost certainly prolongs and intensifies that conflict with the attendant risk of nuclear escalation: an existential threat to life on earth.

    Second, it is obvious that infrastructure (like energy, or transportation, or communication etc.) in every country around the world is not now, and never has been, hardened against this kind of sabotage operation. If malicious actors get it in their heads to attack vulnerable infrastructure, they will find it all too easy, and in the face of tit for tat retaliation world wide we can expect nothing less than the immiseration of the whole world.

    Frightening times indeed.

  3. So will US be prosecuted for this act of eco-terrorism?
    And folks want the Ds in control of the Gov’t? Good grief!

  4. This is stupidity at its finest. If the US is behind this attack, either directly or through its minions, Israel or someone else, it runs completely contrary to the position taken regarding the environment and methane release. In a world where most of the people want and pray for peace, we have megalomaniacs, psychopaths and sociopaths destroying the planet in a bid to control the world and enslave the masses.

    This all goes back to Germany and Antarctica, and this is relevant today, believe it or not. The Fascists Corporate State has its sites set on domination. If we want a peaceful planet, corporate status must be eliminated, the Fed eliminated, and all secrecy based agencies destroyed in favor of full disclosure world wide as to any issue facing the planet. All governments want is another enemy to instill fear in the people. Once the people realize they do not die, there will be hell to pay.

    1. Once again the US has proved to the world of his hostile policies and activities around the world. There is no doubt that he is responsible for the destruction of the pipelines North Stream II, Europe should move away from NATO and leave the US alone in the alliance if he wants his existence to continue. America want to colonise europe to be a new state of America, If european countries does not understand this, I think they have a huge mental problem. America does not want european countries to overtake him as china has just proved, America is a declining super power, and wants to draw EU countries along 12344444

  5. There is every reason to believe that this was the responsibility of Biden, and I consider it a blatant act of war. The US (including Trump) has been trying to get the Europeans to stop using Russian fossil fuels and transition to LNG, where the US is the world’s leading exporter. It was my contention from the beginning that Biden actively provoked the Ukraine war for this purpose (in large part).

    Remember that the US had unilateral sanctions on Nord Stream 2 that really angered the Europeans – for good reason, we were directly interfering in their decisions and they complained. In May 2021 Biden ended some of the sanctions, but in February 2022, before Russia’s invasion, Biden said, “If Russia invades, that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine again, there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2, We will bring an end to it.”
    Asked how the U.S. would ensure that, Biden did not offer specifics: “I promise you: We will be able to do it.”

    With “diplomatic” efforts associated with NG looking shaky as EU economies tank, I see Biden trying to remove this option from the table forcing Europe to deal with their troubles until they find a solution – like building more LNG import terminals to import US LNG. Russia loses twice, because, first, they lose an important economic asset and, second, they cannot control the flow and use it as a power play.

    Why would Biden risk a hot war with Russia? For a while now I’ve watched Biden trying to provoke both China and Russia into a hot war. Does he think that it will take another world war to reunite the American people? Obviously, we didn’t reunite over Ukraine, would we reunite over a world war that we started? It seems like an awful big risk and there must be better ways.

  6. The United States Government is the biggest terrorist organization on the planet and the sooner it collapses the safer we would all be. However, we are now condemned to live with these mindnumbingly stupid fools who will destroy all life on this planet!

  7. The usa has a nasty history of weakening the Euro area by flooding it with poor migrants escaping wars the usa causes. This pipeline shows a future EU damage due to no energy supply. Always the US aim is to weaken any country that threatens the almighty US dollar. Easy for a usa sub to explode some munition on or near the undersea pipes. The usa at war with Russia via Ukraine also weakens the EU.

  8. Whoever bears responsibility for this sabotage, the planet suffers from all of the methane, many times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, spewing into the atmosphere. It seems abundantly clear that the world is run by lunatics, many of whom are recycled Cold Warriors in the US State Department. How these people, responsible for so many foreign policy disasters, keep resurfacing, is an eternal mystery.

    1. “these people” keep resurfacing because they’re the people big business and the rich need to maintain hegemony and maximize profits. “Pull #7.”

  9. It’s not like the US doesn’t have the wherewithal, motivation or experience to pull this off. In fact it’s de javu all over again:

    “In January 1982, President Ronald Reagan approved a CIA plan to sabotage the economy of the Soviet Union through covert transfers of technology that contained hidden malfunctions, including software that later triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian natural gas pipeline..” / ..”At the time, the United States was attempting to block Western Europe from importing Soviet natural gas.”
    “The result was the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space,” he recalls, adding that U.S. satellites picked up the explosion.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2004/02/27/reagan-approved-plan-to-sabotage-soviets/a9184eff-47fd-402e-beb2-63970851e130/
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1455559/CIA-plot-led-to-huge-blast-in-Siberian-gas-pipeline.html
    https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-xpm-2004-02-27-0402261365-story.html

  10. “It seems abundantly clear that the world is run by lunatics” !!!
    Yep! It gets more and more obvious daily.

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