who’s being blamed and why? By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A fuel leak from Nord stream 2 is seen within the Swedish financial zone within the Baltic Sea on this image taken from the Swedish Coast Guard plane on September 28, 2022. Swedish Coast Guard/Handout by way of TT Information Company/by way of REUTERS

By Joanna Plucinska

WARSAW(Reuters) -Main leaks that out of the blue erupted within the Nord Stream fuel pipelines that run from Russia to Europe underneath the Baltic Sea have generated loads of theories however few clear solutions about who or what triggered the injury.

Here’s what we all know and what has been mentioned thus far:


As probes by European authorities proceed, the Swedish safety police mentioned on Thursday that suspicions of gross sabotage on the pipelines had been strengthened following a criminal offense scene investigation.

The Danes are additionally finishing up an investigation, with each international locations excluding Russia from the probes.

Russia’s overseas ministry mentioned on Thursday it was “unthinkable” that an investigation into ruptures on the Nord Stream 1 and a pair of fuel pipelines would proceed with out Moscow’s participation.

To this point, Western governments and officers have prevented pointing a finger straight, whereas Russia has blamed the West.

Fatih Birol, the pinnacle of the Worldwide Power Company, mentioned it was “very apparent” who was behind it however didn’t say who that was.

The Kremlin mentioned allegations of Russian accountability have been “silly” and Russian officers have mentioned Washington had a motive because it desires to promote extra liquefied (LNG) to Europe.

President Vladimir Putin mentioned on Friday america and its allies blew up Nord Stream. “The sanctions weren’t sufficient for the Anglo-Saxons: they moved onto sabotage,” he mentioned.

In earlier feedback, the White Home has dismissed the accusation that it was accountable. U.S. President Joe Biden mentioned on Friday injury to Nord Stream was a deliberate act of sabotage.


German Navy Chief Jan Christian Kaack instructed German each day Die Welt in its Sept. 26 version, the day leaks have been first reported though he was apparently talking earlier than that: “Russia has additionally constructed up appreciable capability underwater. On the backside of the Baltic Sea, but in addition within the Atlantic, there’s fairly a little bit of important infrastructure like pipelines or submarine cables for IT.”

Alongside Nord Stream, a brand new pipeline has been constructed between fuel producing Norway and Poland, which has been searching for to finish its reliance on Russian power, making the area extremely delicate for Europe’s power safety.

“(Russia) can intimidate Europeans by an act of sabotage. As a result of in the event that they’re capable of blow up these pipelines within the Baltic seabed, they may try this as properly to the brand new pipeline,” mentioned Kristine Berzina, senior fellow for safety and defence on the German Marshall Fund.

Nonetheless, if it was an act of sabotage, it has broken pipelines that have been constructed by Kremlin-controlled Gazprom (MCX:) and its European companions at a price that bumped into billions of {dollars}.

The injury additionally means Russia loses a component of leverage it nonetheless had over Europe, which has been racing to seek out different fuel provides for winter, even when the Nord Stream pipelines the place not pumping fuel when the leaks have been found, analysts say.

Whoever or no matter is accountable, Ukraine can also be a beneficiary. Kyiv has lengthy referred to as for Europe to halt all purchases of Russian gasoline – although some fuel nonetheless runs to Europe throughout its territory. Disrupting Nord Stream brings Kyiv’s name for a full Russian gasoline embargo nearer to actuality.


Specialists say the size of the injury and the truth that the leaks are removed from one another on two totally different pipelines point out that the act was intentional and well-orchestrated.

Seismologists in Denmark and Sweden mentioned they’d registered two highly effective blasts on Monday, Sept. 26 within the neighborhood of the leaks and the explosions have been within the water, not underneath the seabed.

Swedish prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist, who’s accountable for the preliminary investigation, confirmed in a press release on Thursday that there have been detonations at Nord Stream 1 and a pair of within the Swedish financial zone which triggered in depth injury to the fuel pipelines.

He added that proof had been seized on the scene however particulars have been confidential because the case was delicate.

A British defence supply instructed Sky Information the assault was in all probability premeditated and detonated from afar utilizing underwater mines or different explosives.

“One thing large triggered these explosions which implies … Russia might do it. In idea, america might additionally do it however I do not actually see the motivation there,” Oliver Alexander, an open supply intelligence analyst, instructed Reuters.

The USA had lengthy referred to as for Europe to finish its reliance on Russian fuel, he mentioned, however Washington had little apparent motivation to behave now as a result of Nord Stream was not pumping fuel to Europe on the time the leaks have been discovered, though the pipelines had fuel underneath stress inside them.

“They already succeeded in stopping Nord Stream 2. It was already useless within the water, it wasn’t going wherever,” he mentioned.

Analysts say it’s potential the injury was inflicted by units which can be accessible on the industrial market however that given the size and precision, it was extra doubtless carried out by an actor with entry to extra subtle know-how.

The U.S. information channel CNN, citing three sources, reported that European safety officers had noticed Russian navy assist ships and submarines not removed from the websites of the Nord Stream leaks. Requested in regards to the report, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned there had been a a lot bigger NATO presence within the space.


The Europeans, together with the Danes, are urgent on with their investigations with additional outcomes anticipated quickly.

For now, nonetheless, extra direct fingerpointing between Russia and the West might worsen tensions which have already spiralled over the battle in Ukraine, mentioned Marek Swierczynski, a defence analyst for Polish assume tank Polityka Perception.

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