Deliberate Acts of Sabotage

A Swedish report states that four breaks in the Nordstream 1 and 2 gas pipelines were deliberate acts of sabotage. The investigators have ruled out an accidental cause by pointing to a preconstruction survey of the routes of the pipelines to assure that no unexploded ammunition from prior wars might have gone off. The seafloor the pipelines were laid on were also leveled to prevent angles of incline and descent that could place stress on their joints. “It very much looks like a deliberate act of sabotage,” according to the investigators.

The Nordstream lines were a joint venture between Russia’s state-owned conglomerate, Gasprom which held a 51% share and energy companies in England, The Netherlands, Germany, and Norway. It was built to carry approximately 55 billion meters of natural gas from Russia to Germany for distribution throughout Europe. Nordstream 2 would have doubled that transit volume.

The reasoning behind building the Nordstream pipelines was simple.  Russia had overland pipelines running through Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, and the Baltic nations. Each demanded transit fees for the gas moving through their countries and each was also able to assert leverage over Russia by being able to halt the flow of gas in furtherance of their own foreign policy goals in dealing with Russia.

Vladimir Putin sought more than to eliminate the transit fees to make his gas cheaper, he also understood that one or all of these countries acting in concert could control Russian foreign policy by threatening to cut off the supply of gas to Europe. A submerged pipeline running from the Russian port of Narva Bay in the Baltic Sea to Greifswald in northern Germany. When it was completed in 2011, it was the longest undersea pipeline in the world at 760 miles. Putin and Russia would no longer be subject to energy blackmail from Poland or Ukraine, it could now do the blackmailing itself.