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What does the Nord Stream pipeline gas leak mean for the environment? | DW News

What does the Nord Stream pipeline gas leak mean for the environment DW News

All their environmental planning didn't take into consideration potential sabotage or terror attacks?

Nord Stream in 150 sec - 11 May 2011

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The sabotage of the Nord Stream (NS) and Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipelines in the Baltic Sea has ominously propelled ‘Disaster Capitalism’ to a whole new, toxic level.

This episode of Hybrid Industrial/Commercial War, in the form of a terror attack against energy infrastructure in international waters signals the absolute collapse of international law, drowned by a “our way or the highway”, “rules-based”, order.

The attack on both pipelines consisted of multiple explosive charges detonated in separate branches close to the Danish island of Bornholm, but in international waters.

That was a sophisticated operation, carried out in stealth in the shallow depth of the Danish straits. That would in principle rule out submarines (ships entering the Baltic are limited to a draught of 15 meters). As for prospective “invisible” vessels, these could only loiter around with permission from Copenhagen – as the waters around Borholm are crammed with sensors, reflecting fear of incursion by Russian submarines.

Swedish seismologists registered two underwater explosions on Monday – one of them estimated at 100 kg of TNT. Yet as much as 700 kg may have been used to blow up three separate pipeline nodes. Such amount could not have possibly been delivered in just one trip by underwater drones currently available in neighboring nations.

The pressure on the pipelines dropped exponentially. The pipes are now filled with seawater.

The pipes on both NS and NS2 can be repaired, of course, but hardly before the arrival of General Winter. The question is whether Gazprom – already focused on several hefty Eurasian customers – would bother, especially considering that Gazprom vessels could be exposed to a possible NATO naval attack in the Baltic.

German officials are already spinning that NS and NS2 can “potentially” be out of commission “forever”. The EU economy and EU citizens badly needed that gas supply. Yet the EUrocracy in Brussels – which rules over nation-states – would not follow, because they have been dictated themselves by the Empire of Chaos, Lies and Plunder. A case can be made that this Euro-oligarchy should one day be tried for treason.

As it stands, a strategic irreversibility is already self-evident; the population of several EU nations will pay a tremendous price and suffer serious consequences derived from this attack, short, medium and long term.

Cui bono?

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson admitted that was “a matter of sabotage”. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen admitted “it was not an accident”. Berlin agrees with the Scandinavians.

Now compare it with former Polish Defense Minister (2005-2007) Radek Sikorski, a Russophobe married to rabid US “analyst” Anne Applebaum, who merrily tweeted “Thank you, USA”.

It gets curiouser and curiouser when we know that simultaneously to the sabotage the Baltic Pipe from Norway to Poland was partially opened, a “new gas supply corridor” servicing “the Danish and Polish markets”: actually a minor affair, considering months ago their sponsors were in trouble finding gas, and now it will be even harder, with much higher costs.

NS2 had already been attacked – in the open – all along its construction. Back in February, Polish ships actively tried to prevent the Fortuna pipe-laying vessel from finishing NS2. The pipes were being laid south of – you guessed it – Bornholm.

NATO for its part has been very active on the underwater drones department. The Americans have access to long distance Norwegian underwater drones which can be modified with other designs. Alternatively, professional navy clearance divers could have been employed in the sabotage – even as tidal currents around Bornholm are a serious matter.

The Big Picture reveals the collective West in absolute panic, with Atlanticist “elites” willing to resort to anything – outrageous lies, assassinations, terrorism, sabotage, all out financial war, support to neo-Nazis – to prevent their descent into a geopolitical and geoeconomic abyss.

Disabling NS and NS2 represents the definitive closure of any possibility of a German-Russia deal on gas supplies, with the added benefit of relegating Germany to the lowly status of absolute US vassal.

So that brings us to the key question of which Western intel apparatus designed the sabotage. Prime candidates are of course CIA and MI6 – with Poland set up as the fall guy and Denmark playing a very dodgy part: it’s impossible that Copenhagen was not at least “briefed” on the intel.

Prescient as ever, as early as in April 2021 Russians were asking questions about the military security of Nord Stream.

The crucial vector is that we may be facing the case of a EU/NATO member involved in an act of sabotage against the number one EU/NATO economy. That’s a casus belli. Outside of the appalling mediocrity and cowardice of the current administration in Berlin, it’s clear that the BND – German intel – as well as the German Navy and informed industrialists sooner or later will do the math.

This was far from an isolated attack. On September 22 there was an attempt against Turkish Stream by Kiev saboteurs. The day before, naval drones with English language IDs were found in Crimea, suspected of being part of the plot. Add to it US helicopters overflying the future sabotage nodes weeks ago; a UK “research” vessel loitering in Danish waters since mid-September; and NATO tweeting about the testing of “new unmanned systems at sea” on the same day of the sabotage.

Show me the (gas) money

The Danish Minister of Defense met urgently with NATO’s Secretary General this Wednesday. After all the explosions happened very close to Denmark’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). That may be qualified as crude kabuki at best; exactly on the same day, the European Commission (EC), NATO’s de facto political office, advanced its trademark obsession: more sanctions against Russia, including the certified-to-fail cap on oil prices.

Meanwhile, EU energy giants are bound to lose big time with the sabotage.

The roll call includes the German Wintershall Dea AG and PEG/ E.ON; the Dutch N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie; and the French ENGIE. Then there are those which financed NS2: Wintershall Dea again as well as Uniper; Austrian OMV; ENGIE again; and British-Dutch Shell. Wintershall Dea and ENGIE are both co-owners and creditors. Their fuming shareholders will want serious answers from a serious investigation.

It gets worse: there are no holds barred anymore on the Pipeline Terror front. Russia will be on red alert not only for Turk Stream but also Power of Siberia. Same for the Chinese and their maze of pipelines arriving in Xinjiang.

Whatever the methodology and the actors who were in the loop, this is payback – in advance – for the inevitable collective West defeat in Ukraine. And a crude warning to the Global South that they will do it again. Yet action always breeds reaction: from now on, “funny things” could also happen to US/UK pipelines in international waters.

The EU oligarchy is reaching an advanced process of disintegration at lightning speed. Their window of opportunity to at least attempt a role as a strategically autonomous geopolitical actor is now closed.

These EUROcrats now face a serious predicament. Once it’s clear who are the perpetrators of the sabotage in the Baltic, and once they understand all the life-changing socio-economic consequences for pan-EU citizens, the kabuki will have to stop. Including the already running, uber-ridiculous subplot that Russia blew up its own pipeline when Gazprom could simply have turned off the valves for good.

And once again, it gets worse: Gazprom is threatening to sue the Ukrainian energy company Naftofgaz for unpaid bills. That would lead to the end of Russian gas transiting Ukraine towards the EU.

As if all of that was not serious enough, Germany is contractually obligated to purchase at least 40 billion cubic meters of Russian gas a year until 2030.

Just say no? They can’t: Gazprom is legally entitled to get paid even without shipping gas. That’s the spirit of a long-term contract. And it’s already happening: because of sanctions, Berlin does not get all the gas it needs but still needs to pay.

All the devils are here

Now it’s painfully clear the imperial velvet gloves are off when it comes to the vassals. EU independence: verboten. Cooperation with China: verboten. Independent trade connectivity with Asia: verboten. The only place for the EU is to be economically subjugated to the US: a tawdry remix of 1945-1955. With a perverse neoliberal twist: we will own your industrial capacity, and you will have nothing.

The sabotage of NS and NS2 is inbuilt in the imperial wet dream of breaking up the Eurasian land mass into a thousand pieces to prevent a trans-Eurasia consolidation between Germany (representing the EU), Russia and China: $50 trillion in GDP, based on purchasing power parity (PPP) compared to the US’s $20 trillion.

We must go back to Mackinder: control of the Eurasian land mass constitutes control of the world. American elites and their Trojan Horses across Europe will do whatever it takes not to give up their control.

“American elites” in this context encompass the deranged, Straussian neo-con-infested “intel community” and the Big Energy, Big Pharma and Big Finance that pays them and who profits not only from the Deep State’s Forever War approach but also wants to make a killing out of the Davos-concocted Great Reset.

The Raging Twenties started with a murder – of Gen Soleimani. Blowing up pipelines is part of the sequel. There will be a highway to hell all the way to 2030. Yet to borrow from Shakespeare, hell is definitely empty, and all the (Atlanticist) devils are here.


Lowering in remotely detonated bombs seems to make the most sense. Otherwise, you’d either way to send someone down there in a scuba suit, or you’d have to shoot the pipes with some kind of torpedo.


The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines may have been sabotaged by a remotely detonated underwater explosive device, Sky News reported on Wednesday citing a UK defense source.

The Russian natural gas pipelines might have been breached by mines lowered to the seabed on a long line, or explosives dropped from a boat or planted by an undersea drone, and the bomb may have been placed “months or even years ago,” the report says.

That’s interesting.

Brandon and his Jews announced months ago that they have the ability to blow up the pipeline. They assured us they have the ability to blow it up.

The source added that the explosives were unlikely to have been planted by a Russian submarine, as the Baltic Sea is relatively shallow, making such a clandestine operation not hard to detect.

However, the source said that “a suspected act of sabotage” was “possibly” carried out by Russia, without providing any evidence to support this claim.

Another “Western source” quoted by the outlet suggested that the Kremlin’s outrage over the damage was suspicious, quipping that Moscow “doth protest too much.”

Earlier, Russia voiced its concern over the rupture of its pipelines, saying it could have grave consequences for energy supplies to the “entire continent,” and called for an immediate investigation into the matter. It also denounced any allegations that it had orchestrated an act of sabotage as “stupid and absurd.”

Sky News asked one of the Danes about this “theory” that the Russians did the bombing. He flinched.

This war is being done by the US and the UK, and they are the ones pushing this crazy shit. Europe doesn’t have any interest in this war. Of course, that’s not to say that the people of the US and UK have any interest in this war, but we are the center of the Anal Empire.

This pipeline attack is an attack on Europe more than it is an attack on Russia. Russia has the gas. Europe is now without gas. They no longer have the option of negotiating to get the gas back, which was the goal of the US. They’re also forced to buy American LNG, which was also a goal of the US.

Europe has been an American vassal state since the end of World War II, but before they were at least prosperous. Now the US is telling them to freeze, and when they say they’re not sure they want to freeze, the US bombs their pipes.

A fourth rupture was just detected by Sweden.


The Swedish coast guard has said it’s discovered a fourth Nord Stream gas pipeline leak. The key infrastucture was damaged earlier this week in an alleged act of sabotage.

Initially, it was believed that the pipelines at the bottom of the Baltic Sea were damaged in three locations, with two strings of Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 being affected.

But Swedish coast guard spokesperson Jenny Larsson told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper on Thursday that there were in fact four leaks in the undersea infrastructure. “Two of these four are in Sweden’s exclusive economic zone,” Larsson said, adding that the two others were in the Danish exclusive zone.

They are saying that this cannot be repaired.


If the damage is not repaired quickly enough, too much salty sea water could run into the pipes lying at the bottom of the Baltic Sea and irreversibly corrode them, German officials have warned, according to the news media outlet. Denmark said on Wednesday that its authorities would be able to launch a probe into the issue no sooner than in a week or two due to “safety concerns,” Tagesspiegel added.

The media outlet does not mention any plans for repair work by either Russia or Germany.

A group of senior German MPs were quick to point the finger at Russia and blame Moscow for the incident. “An attack on the energy supply infrastructure is intended to spread fear and terror,” Roderich Kiesewetter, a German MP and spokesman for crisis prevention for the Conservative Union parliamentary group, told the RND media group.

No one thinks the US didn’t do this. They all know that. If we all know that, there is no way that they don’t all know that.

The media is going to keep claiming that it was Russia, despite how nonsensical this is.

They can just keep saying it, and it will have an effect of muddying the conversation. It has this effect even when everyone knows it’s a lie. Simply blasting out a lie confuses people.

Along with Tucker Carlson and others, Marjorie Taylor Greene is saying that the US did it.

Apparently the global warming people do not care about this gas being pumped into the atmosphere. I have not seen Greta attack the US government for doing this pipe bombing.

I’m not an expert in piping, but this is clearly a massive amount of methane gas leaking into the atmosphere. It’s probably not good for the sea.

Maybe they should light it on fire, so there would be torches on top of the sea? Would that work? It would just be like a stovetop, no?

Just hours before the explosion, Germans were protesting, demanding that the pipes be turned back on.

The neocons are saying that Russian TV playing a clip of Tucker Carlson saying that the US did the bombing is proof that Russia did the bombing and proof Tucker is a Russian agent.

The US is now totally at war with Russia. No one can keep saying “oh well, we’re in a proxy war, which is somehow not a real war somehow.” When you’re blowing up a country’s pipes, you’re at war.

Of course, I was saying before this that we were at war with Russia. The Ukraine thing is such a moronic hoax. Joe Biden goes out there and says Russia is trying to exterminate the Ukraine race, but Vladimir Putin has said very frankly that Russia’s only goal is to liberate the Donbass and make sure the Ukraine doesn’t join NATO. They could have ended this before it started. It’s a totally voluntary war, an elective war, meant to hurt Russia, to try to do a regime change in Russia.

The stakes keep getting higher with every escalation.


Sweden reports new Nord Stream pipeline leak

Sweden has reported a new leak on the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, bringing the total number of ruptures in the region to four.

The European Union has stated it suspects sabotage is behind the gas leaks on the pipelines that transport gas from Russia to Germany.

While all four of the leaks are in international waters, the new one reported by Sweden's coastguard on Thursday is the second found in the Swedish economic zone, while two others are in the Danish economic zone.

Leaks first reported on Monday sent gas bubbling to the surface of the sea from the pipelines that supply the EU from Russia.

The Danish and Swedish governments said they believe the leaks are the result of "deliberate actions".

Speaking before the fourth leak was reported, Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said it would have taken a large explosive device to cause the damage.

Energy experts cited by the Associated Press, or AP, suggest Russia would benefit from any sabotage as it would lead to higher energy prices and economic anxiety across Europe caused by supply disruption.

Russia has denied responsibility for the damage to the pipelines. Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, said allegations that Moscow was to blame were "predictably stupid". Russia's FSB security service said it would investigate the damage as "international terrorism", the Interfax news agency reported.

AP reported that European companies are ramping up security around pipelines and energy prices are climbing again.

The EU has previously accused Moscow of using energy as a weapon against the West because of its support for Ukraine, but Russia denies this and blames the West for gas shortages.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline project was completed last year and was reportedly fi lled with 300 million cubic meters of gas, but it never entered service after the German government halted the certifi cation process due to the outbreak of confl ict in Ukraine.

The original Nord Stream 1 pipeline was completed in 2011 and pumped gas to Germany from Russia until it was shut down four weeks ago after months of restricted supply.

Scientists fear the methane erupting from the burst pipelines could pose signifi cant climate risks, reported The Guardian.

It quoted Jasmin Cooper, a research associate at Imperial College London's department of chemical engineering, as saying there was a "lot of uncertainty" over the leaks, but that there could be a "big volume" of methane being pumped into the atmosphere.

Sweden reports new Nord Stream pipeline leak -

Condoleezza Rice, 2014

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MIke Adams - Nord Stream pipeline SABOTAGE clearly orchestrated by ruthless Biden regime: Nuland, Biden and Sen. Johnson all demanded “ending it permanently” by any means necessary – – The demolition of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea is one of the most outrageous and evil acts of terrorism and sabotage in the history of our world. Now that the sabotage has been confirmed by numerous nations, the blame game has begun as everyone is wondering, “Who did it?”

Resident Joe Biden, Russophobic State Department official Victoria Nuland and GOP Senator Ron Johnson are all on the record demanding the Nord Stream pipelines be taken out, implying they will use any means necessary to achieve that outcome. *Sen. Ron Johnson: I can’t think of a more powerful way to punish Russian aggression than by rolling back what progress has been made, and if at all possible , prevent the Nord Stream 2 from ever being completed.”

Paul Craig Roberts, "Now we have the US attack on the Russian Nord Stream pipelines as promised by Victoria Nuland, the same Jewish State Department official that in a prior administration oversaw the anti-Russian coup in Ukraine, which began the present ever-widening conflict." Are Jews Again Driving the Western World Into a Fatal War?

Victoria Nuland Threatened The Nord Stream Pipelines - The NPC Show

Victoria Nuland Threatened The Nord Stream Pipelines The NPC Show - 28 Sept...

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Joe Biden: “If Russia invades… then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”

Reporter: “But how will you do that, exactly, since…the project is in Germany’s control?”

Biden: “I promise you, we will be able to do that.” (followed by smug smile)

So the ruthless Biden regime publicly threatens to take down the Nord Stream pipelines by any means necessary, then a US Navy fleet task force shows up in the Bornholm area of the Baltic Sea with undersea demolitions experts, and then a couple of months later the Nord Stream pipeline gets blown to pieces, right in the Bornholm area of the Baltic Sea, putting European industry on course for collapse while shoring up western dominance of US industry and dollar currency.

Putin says U.S. created nuclear PRECEDENT by bombing Japan and vows to 'smash' the 'satanic' West: Rants that America is STILL occupying Germany, 'Anglo-Saxons' blew up Nord Stream and warns he'll use 'all forces' to defend annexed Ukraine regions

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a scathing speech toward the West

  • Fears of nuclear war have grown since Putin said he was 'not bluffing' Russia is prepared to use nuclear weapons to defend its territory

  • Also ranted about 'sex change' surgeries and the 'satanic moral norms' of the U.S.

Vladimir Putin accused the United States of creating a nuclear weapons 'precedent' by bombing Japan at the end of the second World War in an unhinged speech calling the West 'satanists' and accusing 'Anglo Saxons' of blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines.

Again, he blamed the West for his invasion of Ukraine because they believe Russia is a 'colony' and a 'band of slaves, and wants to break it up into smaller states who 'will be fighting against each other'.

The Russian president said westerners have made the leap from issuing sanctions to conducting 'terror attacks' in a hostile speech delivered from the Kremlin.

Putin says U.S. created nuclear PRECEDENT by bombing Japan and vows to 'smash' the 'satanic' West: Rants that America is STILL occupying Germany, 'Anglo-Saxons' blew up Nord Stream and warns he'll use 'all forces' to defend annexed Ukraine regions

By Katelyn Caralle, U.S. Political Reporter For Dailymail.com08:55 EDT 30 Sep 2022 , updated 10:54 EDT 30 Sep 2022

(Putin: United States created nuclear precedent by bombing Japan at end of Second World War | Daily Mail Online)

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a scathing speech toward the West
  • Claimed U.S. set 'precedent' using nuclear weapons against Japan during WWII
  • Remarks were announcing and signing papers making his annexation of four Ukrainian regions official: Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk
  • Fears of nuclear war have grown since Putin said he was 'not bluffing' Russia is prepared to use nuclear weapons to defend its territory
  • The outlandish claims in the speech included insisting the U.S. is occupying Germany and Korea
  • Also ranted about 'sex change' surgeries and the 'satanic moral norms' of the U.S.

Vladimir Putin accused the United States of creating a nuclear weapons 'precedent' by bombing Japan at the end of the second World War in an unhinged speech calling the West 'satanists' and accusing 'Anglo Saxons' of blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines.

The Russian despot ranted about sex-change operations, claimed America is occupying Germany and Korea and vowed to 'smash' the West in the disturbing remarks as he announced the annexation of four regions in Ukraine.

His saber-rattling is another terrifying hint that he is prepared to use nuclear weapons as he vowed to use 'all available means' to hold onto Russian-occupied areas of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk.

Again, he blamed the West for his invasion of Ukraine because they believe Russia is a 'colony' and a 'band of slaves, and wants to break it up into smaller states who 'will be fighting against each other'.

President Joe Biden released a statement Friday claiming that the annexations have 'no legitimacy' and will not be recognized by the U.S. He also announced a new set of sanctions in response to the move.

'The United States will always honor Ukraine's internationally recognized borders,' Biden said in the statement, adding: 'We will continue to support Ukraine's efforts to regain control of its territory by strengthening its hand militarily and diplomatically.'

'In response to Russia's phony claims of annexation, the United States, together with our Allies and partners, are announcing new sanctions today,' the president released in his Friday statement. 'These sanctions will impose costs on individuals and entities -- inside and outside of Russia -- that provide political or economic support to illegal attempts to change the status of Ukrainian territory.'

The U.S. Treasury Department updated its list of sanctions for Russia-related individuals and entities to include the Russian Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina and Russia Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

The Russian president said westerners have made the leap from issuing sanctions to conducting 'terror attacks' in a hostile speech delivered from the Kremlin.

The West sabotaging Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines was an attempt to 'destroy the European energy infrastructure,' he claimed – and added that 'those who profit from it have done it,' without naming a specific country.

Fears of nuclear war have grown since Putin confirmed last week he was 'not bluffing' when he said Russia was prepared to use nuclear weapons to defend its territory.

He also said any country who wants to 'live by the rules of the United States' are 'political masochists.'

He said: 'The West wants to see Russia as a colony, an unfree society.'

'One of the reasons for the centuries-old Russophobia is that we did not allow ourselves to be robbed during the period of colonization, we forced Europe to trade on an equal footing,' Putin added, claiming he has plans for 'intervention.'

Putin slammed the U.S. for being the only country to have twice used nuclear weapons against another nation and also accused America of leaving a 'terrible mark on the history of Korea and Vietnam' with engagements in conflicts in both conflicts.

Putin: United States created nuclear precedent by bombing Japan Putin: United States created nuclear precedent by bombing Japan at end of Second World War | Daily Mail Online

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Germany Believes High Explosive Devices Equivalent To "500 Kilograms Of TNT" Used To Destroy Nord Stream

German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that German security officials believe "highly effective explosive devices" were used to blow up the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea.

According to SPIEGEL information, it was calculated that explosive devices with an effect comparable to that of 500 kilograms of TNT must have been used to destroy the tubes. The seismic signals registered by various measuring stations were also included in the estimate.

The previously unknown estimates support the assumption that only a state actor can be behind the action . So far, the federal government has held back with speculation about the background to the interruption of the pipelines.

There is a lot of speculation that Russia is behind the action . The Russian leadership, however, described the process as international terrorism directed against Russia .

The federal government is hoping for more information from a more detailed examination of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which are interrupted to the north-east and south-east of the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm. In security circles it was said that divers or a remote-controlled robot could possibly assess the damage at the weekend .

In the best-case scenario, one could then draw initial conclusions about the type of explosion under water and the explosives used, according to security circles. However, it is difficult to predict how many traces can still be found . -- Der Spiegel

The blasts were so large that the Swedish National Seismic Network detected a 1.9 on the Richter scale and another one that registered 2.3...

Two powerful underwater explosions were detected on Monday in the same area of sea as the Nord Stream gas leaks, according to the Swedish National Seismic Network.

The monitoring network said the first explosion occurred on Monday at 2:03 a.m. Swedish time with a magnitude of 1.9 on the Richter scale, followed by a second at 7:04 p.m. on the same day with a magnitude of 2.3.

To get an idea of what the bombs had to rip through to damage the tubes, Bloomberg's Javier Blas shows NS1 and NS2 were inches thick of steel coated with tons of concrete on each section. Blas said each tube is 'very strong'.

What sparked our attention is why did the CIA warn Germany of an attack on Nord Stream weeks in advance?

And now NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called the Nord Stream attack "sabotage" and said it would be met with a "determined response."

Update (0735ET):

Reuters quoted NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday, saying attacks against EU critical infrastructure would be met with a "determined response." He called the acts "sabotage. "

"All currently available information indicates that this is the result of deliberate, reckless, and irresponsible acts of sabotage.

"We, as Allies, have committed to prepare for, deter and defend against the coercive use of energy and other hybrid tactics by state and non-state actors. Any deliberate attack against Allies' critical infrastructure would be met with a united and determined response," a statement from the North Atlantic Council (NATO) read.

Separately Stoltenberg tweeted:

Stoltenberg nor NATO named the culprit behind the pipeline attacks, though some EU officials have suggested Russia.

There was no mention of how NATO "arrived at its assessment that the damage, which it said has caused substantial environmental fallout and shipping disruptions, resulted from the intentional attack," WSJ noted.

NATO's statement is a significant increase in tensions between Russia and the West ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin's move to annex parts of eastern Ukraine.

More details on the fourth Nord Stream leak are below.

Sweden's coastguard confirmed a new leak was discovered on the damaged Nord Stream pipeline system in the Baltic Sea on Thursday, according to Reuters. Add this to the three other leaks for a grand total of four that have been spewing natural gas into the water since Monday.

"Two of these four are in Sweden's exclusive economic zone," coast guard spokesperson Jenny Larsson told Svenska Dagbladet newspaper. He said the other two are situated in the Danish exclusive economic zone.

While neither NS1 nor NS2 was operational during the suspected undersea explosions earlier this week, they were filled with NatGas to Germany, with Denmark estimating the leaks would dissipate by Sunday.

There are two massive gas bubbles on the surface of the Baltic above the damaged pipelines in Sweden's economic zone. One gas bubble measures a staggering 2,950 feet in diameter, while the other is about 600 feet.

Several EU heads have called the incident "deliberate" and "sabotage," with Finland stating that only a state actor was capable of the pipeline attack.

The Baltic region is getting more intense by the day as Norway, now Europe's top natural gas supplier (recently displaced Russia), increased security at energy infrastructure sites, land terminals, and platforms on the Norwegian continental shelf. There were reports of mysterious drones buzzing oil rigs.

The UN Security Council will meet Friday at Russia's request to review the damage to NS1 and NS2. Russia's US embassy asked for the meeting as it "insists on the need for a comprehensive and objective examination of the circumstances of the unprecedented attacks on Russian pipelines."

Reuters said the embassy commented on its Telegram channel that the US attempts to "squeeze out" Russian oil firms from the global energy market through "non-market methods and sanctions."

The Russian prosecutor's office told Interfax the Nord Stream incident is being investigated as an "international terrorism" probe.

For now, NS1 appears as if it won't be operational anytime soon (NS2 was never operational though filled with gas). Before this winter and the reduction in NS1 capacity, the EU received about 40% of its NatGas via pipelines from Russia, a figure that Bloomberg now has around 9%.


ANALYSIS: Nord Stream Pipelines Sabotaged, and Only One Country Benefits

By [Jim Hoft], Published September 28, 2022 at 8:00am

Aerial view of blown Nord Stream pipeline near Bornholm Island.

Guest post by Bill Hennessy

Three deep-water explosions destroyed the Nord Stream pipelines under the Baltic Sea on Monday. While the MSM and governments reported “leaks” in the pipelines following sudden pressure drops to zero, Swedish seismologists knew better.

One of the three explosions measures 2.3 on the Richter Scale of earthquake intensity, but this was no earthquake. It was explosion—like a gigantic undersea mine. Via Reuters:

Bjorn Lund, seismologist at the Swedish National Seismic Network at Uppsala University, said seismic data gathered by him and Nordic colleagues showed that the explosions took place in the water and not in the rock under the seabed.

The explosions guarantee Germany and the EU won’t go wobbly with regard to sanctions against Russian energy imports. The damage to pipelines will take months repair, and repairs are unlikely to begin until next summer. Even if Germany were to cry “uncle” as civil unrest intensifies over lack of heat and energy, even if Russia decided to turn the power back on, the conduit for Russian gas to Europe is broken.

TASS reports details of the explosions:

The first explosion was recorded at about two o’clock in the morning on Monday, the second at 07:04 p.m. on the same day. Gas leak warnings were issued on Monday at 01:52 p.m. and 08:41 p.m. respectively. Vessels passing through the area reportedly notified the Coast Guard of the seething on the sea surface. Lund argues that there are usually no military exercises in the area of the incident, which could theoretically cause damage to the pipelines.

No military exercises in the area on Monday, but there were military exercises in the area recently enough. We will look into those exercises in a bit.

POLL: Do You Think The US Sabotaged Nord Stream 2?

So, Nord Stream is dead, and the question becomes “whodunnit?”

Means, Motive, and Opportunity

To fix a crime on a suspect, police try to establish means, motive, and opportunity. If the victim was shot in his home with no signs of force entry or struggle, the suspects will be people known to the victim who had access to the murder weapon and reason to kill him. Take away any one element—means (gun), motive (gain), or opportunity (access)—and the case falls apart.

If we bounce all three elements against the reasonable suspects, one suspect stands out.

Means eliminates most suspects. Only a government with an advanced naval warfare capability could have executed the sabotage. That limits the suspects to Germany, Great Britain, France, the United States, Russia, and China.

But means also involves proximity. Chinese or French naval activities in the area would have raised flags. Geography would seem to preclude the United States except for the fact the US Navy operates in every ocean in the world with advanced war fighting capabilities. So the list of suspects with the means to destroy Nord Stream is down to the UK, US, Russia, and Germany.

So, we shift to motive.

Germany has no motive to damage its energy lifeline. Germany is highly dependent on Russian natural gas. Entire German industries are being nationalized because of the lack of energy due to sanctions against Russia and Russia reducing flow through the pipelines. Germans held massive protests over the weekend demanding Germany pull out of the anti-Russian alliance in exchange for a return of energy.

Great Britain has also suffered under the sanctions imposed after Russia invaded Ukraine in February. The British economy is in shambles, forcing the UK’s central bank to pivot back to quantitative easing. Additionally, the new government in the UK has its hands full with forming a government. It is unlikely the Brits would attempt such a caper.

Russia seems to have a motive: inflict long-term pain on Europe for sending lethal arms to Ukraine. But Russia didn’t need to blow up the pipelines. Russia controls the valves that send or halt gas flow to Europe, and she’s already turned off the spigot. Russia paid for a portion of the pipeline and expects to resume profitable energy exports to Europe once the war with Ukraine settles. Why would Russia cut off its own nose?

That leaves the United States. So what are its motives?

First, the US became the number one exporter of liquified natural gas to Europe once Russia cut off the flow. German dependence on US LNG is a carrot to keep German in the sanction alliance. With winter approaching and German unrest on the rise, the State Department would have been concerned the Germans would go wobbly, reduce sanctions, cut off arms to Ukraine, and beg Putin for energy. The loss of the Nord Stream pipelines eliminates that path to renewed gas imports to Germany.

Second, the Biden family has long been tangled up in natural gas and Ukraine. Hunter Biden was on the board of Ukraine’s largest natural gas company—a position that provided Ukrainian oligarchs with access to Joe Biden. Hunter, who has no experience in energy, made millions from the deal, and Ukraine got a bought-and-paid-for President of the United States.

Third, the Democrat Biden needs to stanch the popularity bleeding that threatens to kill Democrat control of Congress come November.

So, only the United States has a compelling reason to destroy Europe’s energy lifeline from Russia. Only the United States has both the means and the motive....

Russian spy chief: we have evidence West involved in 'sabotage' of Nord Stream pipelines

(Reuters) -Russia's top spy said on Friday that Moscow had materials which indicated the West had a role in ruptures to the undersea Nord Stream pipelines that have threatened to put them permanently out of use, Russian news agencies reported.


"We have materials that point to a Western trace in the organisation and implementation of these terrorist acts," the Interfax news agency quoted Sergei Naryshkin, head of Russia's foreign intelligence service, as saying on Friday.

Naryshkin's remarks are the most direct accusation against the West from a senior Russian official. He did not say what evidence Russia had.

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said the "unprecedented sabotage" against the Nord Stream gas pipelines was "an act of international terrorism."

The European Union is investigating the cause of the leaks in the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines and has said it suspects sabotage was behind the damage off the coasts of Denmark and Sweden.

Sweden's energy minister said on Friday it was "very likely" that the attack on the pipelines was done on purpose by a state actor.

Since the ruptures were first detected earlier this week, officials in Moscow have hinted that the West, led by the U.S., could be behind the attack. On Thursday, Russia's Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Washington stood to gain from the pipelines being disrupted.

Neither Nord Stream 1 or 2 were in operation when the ruptures were discovered on Monday, but both contained gas. Nord Stream AG, the operator for the Nord Stream 1 pipeline said it expects the gas leak to stop by Monday, but that it has not been able to access the area to assess the damage.

An older but interesting article

Germany has alternatives if it abandons Nord Stream 2 over Russia tensions: Experts

Published: 07 September ,2020:

Abandoning the nearly complete Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany could create a legal mess and nudge up energy costs for European households but Germany would cope with any disruption to supplies, economists say.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the weekend questioned the project -- thus far supported by Germany -- following the suspected poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman reinforced the shift in tone on Monday, saying she shared the view of Maas, who told newspaper Bild am Sonntag: “I certainly hope that the Russians will not force us to change our position on Nord Stream 2.”

Their comments cast doubt over the future of a project that is more than 90 percent complete, scheduled to operate from early 2021 and which would double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline from Russia to Germany, Europe’s largest economy.

Knocking out that additional capacity would put upward pressure on gas prices. But reduced energy demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and slack in the German economy, would give Berlin time to work out alternative additional supply sources.

“Germany could easily afford it,” Berenberg Bank economist Holger Schmieding said of the possibility of axing the pipeline, describing the impact on economic output as “negligible.”

“We have time anyway, and now with GDP only to reach pre-pandemic levels in 2022, in a way we have more time to figure out how to grapple with it than we had before,” he said.

Navalny was airlifted to Germany for hospital treatment after falling ill on a Russian domestic flight last month. The German government says he was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent similar to the one used in an attempt to kill a former Russian spy in England two years ago.

Moscow says it has seen no evidence he was poisoned.

Merkel, who had until now been unwavering in her support for Nord Stream 2, wants to agree a response to the affair with Germany’s European Union partners and is first awaiting an explanation from Russia.


Merkel and the EU face a trade-off between the economic benefits of the pipeline and the firm political message that abandoning it would send to Russia, analysts say.
“Merkel’s perhaps deliberate opening of the domestic debate underlines that Berlin’s support for pragmatic dialogue with Putin is not for free,” said Carsten Nickel at Teneo, a consultancy.

Germany could use the threat of an exit from the project to try to get more engagement from Russian President Vladimir Putin on issues such as Ukraine or Belarus, he said.

But with 2,300 km of the 2,460 km twin-pipeline length completed, the commercial momentum behind the project may well carry it through.

A study undertaken in April by Cologne University’s energy economics institute (EWI) showed that consumers would benefit from a 5 percent gas price discount if Nord Stream 2 materialized.

There is strong commercial resistance to axing the project.

Read more: US Congress approves Russia-Europe gas pipeline sanctions

Oliver Hermes, chairman of the Ost-Ausschuss, which represents German business interests in Russia, said abandoning it would damage Germany’s commercial reputation.

“This would place a considerable burden on the image of the EU and Germany as a safe investment location,” he said.

German gas stocks were filled to 93.2 percent capacity on Saturday, data from European infrastructure group GIE showed, more than enough to cope with the immediate challenge of heating Germans’ homes this winter.

But sourcing alternative energy supplies in the longer term - potentially from US fracking gas, liquid gas from Russia and Qatar, or additional pipeline gas - would cost “billions of euros per year, which European consumers in particular would then have to pay,” Hermes said.

The legal costs of abandoning Nord Stream 2 could also prove a major headache. The five Western partners in the 9.5-billion-euro project led by Russia’s Gazprom would suffer massive write-downs should it be


Half a dozen people familiar with the industry said pulling the plug would provoke a backlash from among the 120 firms involved in the project. Two of the people, including a specialist energy lawyer, forecast a raft of lawsuits.

Who DID blow up the Nord Stream gas pipelines - Russia... or America? Conspiracy theories point finger of blame at President Biden amid riddle of blasts in the Baltic

  • Nord Stream pipelines 1 and 2 were both severely damaged earlier this week
  • But was it the act of self-sabotage by Vladimir Putin that the world assumes?
  • Joe Biden promised Nord Stream 'would end' if Russia invaded Ukraine

The article is an interesting one, particularly in highlighting other potential vulnerabilities:

‘The protection and defence of these vital energy and communication arteries have been neglected, even as military and civilian technologies and platforms, both manned and unmanned, capable of disrupting and damaging them have multiplied significantly. It is not just the UK that is at risk in this regard, but the whole international community.’

Fears of internet and mobile phone blackouts this winter have intensified recently – as Europe does not have enough back-up systems to rely upon in the event of power cuts.

Britain and Europe on high alert for further attacks, perhaps to sub-sea data cables which carry financial information across the Atlantic – which would play havoc with stock markets.

Strarting at 1:34 More on Victoria Nuland while talking with Senator Ron Johnson expressing their plans to isolate Russia from Global financial System and keeping Nord Stream Pipeline 2 from ever being completed. Senator goes on say he is not only talking about having a direct impact is one thing but rolling the pipeline back, then he defines his intentions, taking action that will prevent it from ever becoming operational.

Thank you everyone for adding information/news! There are some really good additions. Just a few posts were deleted, as they were essentially repeating other preceeding posts.

Nord Stream leaks will not delay Oct. 1 Baltic Pipe start-up

Thu, September 29, 2022 at 9:42 a.m.·1 min read

WARSAW (Reuters) - The leaks on Nord Stream pipelines will not delay the Oct. 1 start of gas flows via Baltic Pipe, a new gas pipeline from Norway to Poland, a Polish government official in charge of strategic energy infrastructure said on Thursday.

The damage to the Nord Stream pipelines happened just days before Baltic Pipe is due to start operating. The link, with annual capacity of 10 billion cubic meters, will transport gas from Norway to the Danish and Polish markets, as well as to end-users in neighbouring countries.

Polish services are monitoring the undersea section of Baltic Pipe, but security measures that have been taken are a state secret, Mateusz Berger, the government's representative for Strategic Energy Infrastructure said in an emailed response to questions from Reuters.

"The circumstances of leaks on Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 are being investigated by dedicated agencies in Poland, Denmark, Germany and Sweden," Berger said.

"Gas transmission via the pipeline will start on Oct. 1 as earlier declared."

Baltic Pipe crosses the damaged Nord Stream pipelines in the vicinity of Bornholm, an island off the coast of Denmark.

Baltic pipe is a joint project of the Danish gas and electricity transmission system operator Energinet and the Polish gas transmission system operator GAZ-SYSTEM.


September 29th, 2022

The War of Economic Corridors has entered incandescent, uncharted territory: Pipeline Terror.

A sophisticated military operation – that required exhaustive planning, possibly involving several actors – blew up four separate sections of the Nord Stream (NS) and Nord Stream 2 (NS2) gas pipelines this week in the shallow waters of the Danish straits, in the Baltic Sea, near the island of Bornholm.

Swedish seismologists estimated that the power of the explosions may have reached the equivalent of up to 700 kg of TNT. Both NS and NS2, near the strong currents around Borholm, are placed at the bottom of the sea at a depth of 60 meters.

The pipes are built with steel reinforced concrete, able to withstand impact from aircraft carrier anchors, and are basically indestructible without serious explosive charges. The operation – causing two leaks near Sweden and two near Denmark – would have to be carried out by modified underwater drones.

Every crime implies motive. The Russian government wanted – at least up to the sabotage – to sell oil and natural gas to the EU. The notion that Russian intel would destroy Gazprom pipelines is beyond ludicrous. All they had to do was to turn off the valves. NS2 was not even operational, based on a political decision from Berlin. The gas flow in NS was hampered by western sanctions. Moreover, such an act would imply Moscow losing key strategic leverage over the EU.

Diplomatic sources confirm that Berlin and Moscow were involved in a secret negotiation to solve both the NS and NS2 issues. So they had to be stopped – no holds barred. Geopolitically, the entity that had the motive to halt a deal holds anathema a possible alliance in the horizon between Germany, Russia, and China.


The possibility of an “impartial” investigation of such a monumental act of sabotage – coordinated by NATO, no less – is negligible. Fragments of the explosives/underwater drones used for the operation will certainly be found, but the evidence may be tampered with. Atlanticist fingers are already blaming Russia. That leaves us with plausible working hypotheses.

This hypothesis is eminently sound and looks to be based on information from Russian intelligence sources. Of course, Moscow already has a pretty good idea of what happened (satellites and electronic monitoring working 24/7), but they won’t make it public.

The hypothesis focuses on the Polish Navy and Special Forces as the physical perpetrators (quite plausible; the report offers very good internal details), American planning and technical support (extra plausible), and aid by the Danish and Swedish militaries (inevitable, considering this was very close to their territorial waters, even if it took place in international waters).

The hypothesis perfectly ties in with a conversation with a top German intelligence source, who told The Cradle that the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND or German intelligence) was “furious” because “they were not in the loop.”

Of course not. If the hypothesis is correct, this was a glaringly anti-German operation, carrying the potential of metastasizing into an intra-NATO war.

The much-quoted NATO Article 5 – ‘an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us’ – obviously does not say anything about a NATO-on-NATO attack. After the pipeline punctures, NATO issued a meek statement “believing” what happened was sabotage and will “respond” to any deliberate attack on its critical infrastructure. NS and NS2, incidentally, are not part of NATO’s infrastructure.

The whole operation had to be approved by Americans, and deployed under their Divide and Rule trademark. “Americans” in this case means the Neo-conservatives and Neo-liberals running the government machinery in Washington, behind the senile teleprompter reader.

This is a declaration of war against Germany and against businesses and citizens of the EU – not against the Kafkaesque Eurocrat machine in Brussels. Don’t be mistaken: NATO runs Brussels, not European Commission (EC) head and rabid Russophobe Ursula von der Leyen, who’s just a lowly handmaiden for finance capitalism.

It’s no wonder the Germans are absolutely mum; no one from the German government, so far, has said anything substantial.

The Polish corridor

By now, assorted chattering classes are aware of former Polish Defense Minister and current MEP Radek Sirkorski’s tweet: “Thank you, USA.” But why would puny Poland be on the forefront? There’s atavic Russophobia, a number of very convoluted internal political reasons, but most of all, a concerted plan to attack Germany built on pent up resentment – including new demands for WWII reparations.

The Poles, moreover, are terrified that with Russia’s partial mobilization, and the new phase of the Special Military Operation (SMO) – soon to be transformed into a Counter-Terrorism Operation (CTO) – the Ukrainian battlefield will move westward. Ukrainian electric light and heating will most certainly be smashed. Millions of new refugees in western Ukraine will attempt to cross to Poland.

At the same time there’s a sense of “victory” represented by the partial opening of the Baltic Pipe in northwest Poland – almost simultaneously with the sabotage.

Talk about timing. Baltic Pipe will carry gas from Norway to Poland via Denmark. The maximum capacity is only 10 billion cubic meters, which happens to be ten times less than the volume supplied by NS and NS2. So Baltic Pipe may be enough for Poland, but carries no value for other EU customers.

Meanwhile, the fog of war gets thicker by the minute. It has already been documented that US helicopters were overflying the sabotage nodes only a few days ago; that a UK “research” vessel was loitering in Danish waters since mid-September; that NATO tweeted about the testing of “new unmanned systems at sea” on the same day of the sabotage. Not to mention that Der Spiegel published a startling report headlined “CIA warned German government against attacks on Baltic Sea pipelines,” possibly a clever play for plausible deniability.

The Russian Foreign Ministry was sharp as a razor: “The incident took place in an area controlled by American intelligence.” The White House was forced to “clarify” that President Joe Biden – in a February video that has gone viral – did not promise to destroy NS2; he promised to “not allow” it to work. The US State Department declared that the idea the US was involved is “preposterous.”

It was up to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov to offer a good dose of reality: the damage to the pipelines posed a “big problem” for Russia, essentially losing its gas supply routes to Europe. Both NS2 lines had been pumped full of gas and – crucially – were prepared to deliver it to Europe; this is Peskov cryptically admitting negotiations with Germany were ongoing.

Peskov added, “this gas is very expensive and now it is all going up in the air.” He stressed again that neither Russia nor Europe had anything to gain from the sabotage, especially Germany. This Friday, there will be a special UN Security Council session on the sabotage, called by Russia.

The attack of the Straussians

Now for the Big Picture. Pipeline Terror is part of a Straussian offensive, taking the splitting up of Russia and Germany to the ultimate level (as they see it). Leo Strauss and the Conservative Movement in America: A Critical Appraisal, by Paul E. Gottfried (Cambridge University Press, 2011) is required reading to understand this phenomenon.

Leo Strauss, the German-Jewish philosopher who taught at the University of Chicago, is at the root of what later, in a very twisted way, became the Wolfowitz Doctrine, written in 1992 as the Defense Planning Guidance, which defined “America’s mission in the post-Cold War era.”

The Wolfowitz Doctrine goes straight to the point: any potential competitor to US hegemony, especially “advanced industrial nations” such as Germany and Japan, must be smashed. Europe should never exercise sovereignty: “We must be careful to prevent the emergence of a purely European security system that would undermine NATO, and particularly its integrated military command structure.”

Fast-forward to the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act, adopted only five months ago. It establishes that Kiev has a free lunch when it comes to all arms control mechanisms. All these expensive weapons are leased by the US to the EU to be sent to Ukraine. The problem is that whatever happens in the battlefield, in the end, it is the EU that will have to pay the bills.

US Secretary of State Blinken and his underling, Victoria “F**k the EU” Nuland, are Straussians, now totally unleashed, having taken advantage of the black void in the White House. As it stands, there are at least three different “silos” of power in a fractured Washington. For all Straussians, a tight bipartisan op, uniting several high-profile usual suspects, destroying Germany is paramount.

One serious working hypothesis places them behind the orders to conduct Pipeline Terror. The Pentagon forcefully denied any involvement in the sabotage. There are secret back channels between Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

And dissident Beltway sources swear that the CIA is also not part of this game; Langley’s agenda would be to force the Straussians to back off on Russia reincorporating Novorossiya and allow Poland and Hungary to gobble up whatever they want in Western Ukraine before the entire US government falls into a black void.

Come see me in the Citadel

On the Grand Chessboard, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan two weeks ago dictated the framework of the multipolar world ahead. Couple it with the independence referendums in DPR, LPR, Kherson and Zaporozhye, which Russian President Vladimir Putin will formally incorporate into Russia, possibly as early as Friday.

With the window of opportunity closing fast for a Kiev breakthrough before the first stirrings of a cold winter, and Russia’s partial mobilization soon to enter the revamped SMO and add to generalized western panic, Pipeline Terror at least would carry the “merit” of solidifying a Straussian tactical victory: Germany and Russia fatally separated.

Yet blowback will be inevitable – in unexpected ways – even as Europe becomes increasingly Ukrainized and even Polandized: an intrinsically neo-fascist, unabashed puppet of the US as predator, not partner. Vey few across the EU are not brainwashed enough to understand how Europe is being set up for the ultimate fall.

The war, by those Straussians ensconced in the Deep State – neocons and neoliberals alike – won’t relent. It is a war against Russia, China, Germany and assorted Eurasian powers. Germany has just been felled. China is currently observing, carefully. And Russia – nuclear and hypersonic – won’t be bullied.

Poetry grandmaster C.P. Cavafy, in Waiting for the Barbarians, wrote “And now what will become of us, without any barbarians? Those people were some kind of a solution.” The barbarians are not at the gates, not anymore. They are inside their golden Citadel.

From 2021

Nord Stream 2 – a red herring at the bottom of the sea

Finalising the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has become a hotly contested issue that has put all sides in a ‘lose-lose’ situation. The German government is acting as though the pipeline were a vital national interest and the US (and some of Germany’s neighbours) fear that it will make Europe overly dependent on Russia.

An objective analysis of the economics of gas supplies suggests that both sides are vastly exaggerating the importance of this project. Concerns about the vulnerability of Europe’s gas supplies to political pressure could be addressed by creating a European (Supplementary) Strategic Gas Reserve.

The facts are as simple as the politics are complex: the Nord Stream 2 project involves the laying of a second string of an existing natural gas pipeline that connects the Russian gas terminal to a landing near the northeast German town of Greifswald. About 90% of the pipe has already been laid. The construction is planned and financed by a shell company based in the Swiss canton of Zug, whose sole shareholder is the Russian gas producer, Gazprom.

It is thus ostensibly a private-sector project, but clearly under the control of the Russian government. When finished, the pipeline would add about 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year of capacity from Russia to the EU market (compared to total EU gas imports of 400 bcm).

What is the ‘German’ interest in all this?

One should distinguish between the interests of the German government, German gas consumers and German corporate interests.

German corporate interest seems marginal now that there is only one German company left among the five European companies that together financed one half of the total cost of about €9.5 billion (close to US$11 billion).

If the cost of the pipeline is borne by Gazprom alone there should be no impact on the ultimate consumer, even if the project is not finalised. The risk, but also the benefits, would be for Gazprom only.

Any gas arriving through Nord Stream 2 would be subject to German regulatory requirements and European rules on unbundling, network access and cost regulation. It would thus enter an integrated European, not a German market.

What amounts are involved? The total sum already expended on the construction of 90% of the pipeline amounts to something in the region of €9 bn euro. Losing this amount would be a considerable sum for any single company, but negligible compared to the overall German or EU economy of trillions of euro annually.

If the project were to be completed, German and European consumers might benefit marginally because gas through Nord Stream 2 would be somewhat cheaper than alternative supplies. Moreover, there might a small but significant advantage in terms of not emitting greenhouse gases by using a new pipeline that has much lower loss rates (and energy needs) than LNG (liquefied natural gas) and the rather old pipeline running through Ukraine.

There are thus no substantial German interests involved in Nord Stream 2. Nevertheless, pronouncements by prominent politicians have given the impression that the German government is fully behind the project. This glaring contradiction weakens Germany’s international standing. It would be much better for the German government to adopt a truly neutral stance.

Does Nord Stream 2 endanger Europe’s energy security?

The status of Russia as the biggest supplier of natural gas to Europe is well known. The country already provides over one-third of Europe’s needs and this share is likely to increase.

But the focus on bilateral flows is misleading because the growth of the LNG market is eroding the importance of pipelines. This market has doubled over the last decade, creating a global market for natural gas – a market in which the US is participating with its own LNG exports to Europe. Shipping costs remain higher than for oil, and the liquidity of the market in response to short-term demand shifts is still limited, but the direction of travel is clear: LNG is a growing alternative to piped gas for Europe.

Moreover, Russia is already exporting some gas as LNG, including to Europe. In 2019 European LNG imports from Russia were actually larger than those from the US.

The existence of a global market for gas means that little would change if Nord Stream 2 were not completed. The gas that would then not be delivered directly to Germany might go through Ukraine, but it could also be exported from Russia via LNG tankers. It could then still arrive in Europe because it remains the nearest market. At a somewhat higher cost, Russian LNG exports could also displace other gas (maybe from the US or Qatar) in Asian markets. Europe would then import more LNG gas from these two suppliers.

Not finishing Nord Stream 2 would thus not diminish the dependence of Europe on gas imports – only the share imported via LNG would increase, a large part of which would probably still come from Russia.

In strictly economic terms the underlying issue is simply the difference in transport costs: how much less does it cost to transport Russian gas from the Yamal peninsula via pipeline than via transportation in LNG tankers? These cost savings are important for a single company (and in particular for Gazprom), but they are of second order in the macroeconomic picture. According to estimates by the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE), the cost of LNG transport is about €25 to €50 per thousand cubic meter of gas. This would imply that Nord Stream 2 could save Gazprom between €1.25 and €2.5 billion per annum, if the pipeline were to be fully utilised.[1]

Moreover, the focus on gas pipelines appears exaggerated if one takes into account that Russia also constitutes the biggest supplier of crude oil to Europe, most of which also arrives via pipelines. However, these oil pipelines, especially the ‘Drushba system’ constructed under the Soviet Union era, have never attracted much public attention.

Finally, one needs to keep in mind that a pipeline creates a bilateral dependence: Russia depends on the EU remaining a reliable customer. The bilateral economic link is much more important for Russia since earnings from gas exports make up a significant portion of Russia’s overall export earnings (and the revenues of the Russian government) – but are only a tiny fraction of the European economy.

Furthermore, Europe already has an alternative source of supply in the form of free capacity for LNG imports. This means that Russia depends much more on the EU as a customer than the other way round. To achieve its own ‘gas market independence’ from Europe, Russia would need to construct a costly capacity to export LNG from facilities closer to fields near the Arctic Circle. With Nord Stream 2 it has less of an incentive to do so.

Does Nord Stream 2 hurt Ukraine’s national interest?

The fact that a large part of its gas exports go through Ukraine did not deter Russia from annexing Crimea and creating a frozen conflict in Donbas. It is thus not clear why a further drop in gas transit should negatively affect Ukrainian national security. Despite their mutual hostility, the two countries still managed to reach an agreement whereby Gazprom will pay transit fees between of $1.5 and $5 billion per annum until 2024.

Many US and European observers assume that the transit fees benefit ‘Ukraine’. In reality, these fees found their way into the pockets of oligarchs who siphoned off profits via shell companies and associated local companies. Some recent reforms, which began even before the election of President Zelensky, have improved the situation, as recognised in a report by the OECD. But the transit fees will remain a potential source of corruption, which remains engrained in the country’s energy sector, as noted by the Ukrainian anti-corruption agency. The country as a whole still ranks at the bottom of all indicators of good governance and corruption.

What is more, these fees have the typical ‘Dutch disease’ effect of hindering the emergence of a local export-oriented industry – which would constitute the only way Ukraine can grow on a sustained basis.

In terms of the goal of bringing Ukraine closer to Europe, and of reducing corruption, the loss of Gazprom transit
revenues should be counted as a plus.

Ukraine no longer imports gas directly from Russia. The energy security of Ukraine is ensured by reverse flows from Western Europe towards Ukraine. But most of this gas (delivered from Slovakia to Ukraine) is actually Russian gas. Today, this gas arrives first through the Ukrainian transit pipeline into the EU and then returns. With Nord Stream 2 completed the flow would be somewhat more complicated (first to Germany, then through intra-EU Central European interconnectors and then back to Ukraine), but the substance would not change.


Overall, Nord Stream 2 is a footnote in the larger picture of a nascent global market for LNG. The facile ‘geopolitical’ argument that it makes Europe more dependent on Russia and hurts Ukraine does not withstand objective analysis.

The German government should therefore stop defending this project and Europe should create its own Supplementary Strategic Gas Reserve. Everybody can then forget about this pipeline at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

[1] Basis for calculations: to arrive at an upper bound, one can use “shipping costs from the US to Asia, which can range from $0.88 to $2.25 per MMBtu, based on the range of LNG tanker day rates that have been experienced in the relatively recent past”. (U.S. Natural Gas (LNG) Exports: Opportunities and Challenges), see also publications “LNG transport costs amount to about 1 – 2 USD per MMBTU”.