The former head of the German Federal Intelligence Service claims Russia stood “to gain the most” from sabotaging Russian gas pipelines to Germany bypassing Ukraine and Poland.
“An unnoticed, conspiratorial damage to pipelines at a depth of 80 meters in the Baltic Sea requires sophisticated technical and organizational capabilities that clearly point to a state actor,” said ex-intelligence chief Gerhard Schindler, in comments to German media quoted by POLITICO.
The German went on to insist that “[o]nly Russia can really be considered for this, especially since it stands to gain the most from this act of sabotage”. While this is a common view among European leaders, it otherwise amounts to one of several publicly unproven theories in a global game of finger-pointing around the sabotage of the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines.
Others said to have an interest in the pipeline being damaged are Ukraine, who would be disadvantaged in the war if European countries crumbled on sanctions over winter in a bid to buy Russian gas to keep the heating on, and Poland who are hawkish on Russia and earn money on transit fees of gas passing through their territory, which Nord Stream does not.
While transit fees are still an important source of revenue for Ukraine to this day, with payments ongoing despite Moscow and Ukraine being actively at war with one another it seems to stretch credulity to breaking point to imagine Poland would choose now of all times to start bombing energy infrastructure.
Some — particularly Russia and China — have pointed the finger of blame at the United States, citing a February speech made by U.S. President Joe Biden vowing that if Russia invaded Ukraine, he had the tools at his disposal to “bring an end” to Nord Stream 2.
Nevertheless, officials in European Union countries appear confident that the damage to the Nord Stream pipelines, which was inflicted right as a new Norway-Denmark-Poland gas pipeline opened, was a result of sabotage rather than an accident or seismic activity.
Ukrainian officials, like their counterparts abroad including Germany’s Schindler and the likes of UK Conservative politician Bob Seely in the United Kingdom, have also pointed the finger of blame at Russia, with Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, branding the explosions “a terrorist attack planned by Russia and an act of aggression towards [the European Union].”
Political insiders are promoting similar arguments, suggesting that Russia destroyed its own Nord Stream pipelines — but not pipelines running overland — to send its Western customers a message.
“Prepare for a life without Russian gas… It’s a threat of a complete cut-off,” suggested David Goldwyn, the U.S. State Department’s energy tsar under Barack Obama, in terms of a potential rationale for Russia destroying its own pipelines — although they had cut off Nord Stream 1 already and Nord Stream 2 never went into operation.
The speculation that Western actors were behind the alleged sabotage of Nord Stream has been fuelled to a great extent by Radek Sikorski, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and former Polish foreign minister under the previous globalist Civil Platform (PO) party.
Sikorski, who ironically was forced out of office after a recorded conversation in which his foul-mouthed dismissal of the Polish alliance with Barack Obama’s America as “worthless” was leaked, tweeted a picture of the sea bubbling at the site of the damage with the words “Thank you, USA” shortly after the damage was first reported.