Nord Stream Explosion
|Topics:||Ecology, International Relations, Russia-Ukraine War|
Table of Contents
On September 20, 2022, pressure drops were reported on the Nord Streams running under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. Consequently, three separate leaks were reported off the coasts of Sweden and Denmark – a few kilometers apart. In both incidents, seismologists in Sweden and Denmark opined that sizeable explosions of about 100 kilograms of TNT occurred. About 500 million cubic meters of gas were lost in the process (Oltermann et al., 2022). Reports indicate it is no accident and a statistical unlikelihood of three explosions spontaneously occurring on the same day. It is hard to believe that a non-state actor was involved in these explosions, given the scale of the operation – the number of explosives involved and the multiple sites – only suggest that it is the state that has sponsored whoever blew up this pipeline. As much as earlier speculations revolved around the involvement of non-state actors, that seems more unlikely. No specific state or non-state actors have taken responsibility following the Nord Stream explosion. Still, the explosion has had economic and political impacts on a global scale. Although there is no clear evidence of the real culprits who attacked the Nord Stream pipeline, one thing is certain – a state-sponsored group was involved in blowing up this pipeline, resulting in long-term economic impacts that have raised the cost of living.
Who Attacked Nord Stream?
Different versions of who attacked Nord Stream recently emerged, with blame games from various state and non-state actors shaping these versions. Even though there is no proof of the real culprits who blew up the Nord Stream, one thing is certain – it is a state-sponsored group involved in the explosion. Due to the amount of resources used is vast and suspected to have been well-coordinated and executed by either a state navy or by trained personnel (Shock and Awe: Who Attacked the Nord Stream Pipelines? – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, n.d.). Thus, eliminating the possibility of non-state actors. The other thing is that the explosion was no accident but a planned attack. Russia, one of the main suspects, is blaming the U.S. Maria Zakharova, Russia’s Foreign Minister, blamed the hand of the U.S., claiming that the attacks happened only in countries controlled by the United States intelligence services. Another person who directly implied that the U.S. was involved is Tucker Carlson, a Fox News television personality (Vakulenko, n.d.). In this case, Tucker is unsurprisingly blaming the West, arguing that it does not make sense that Russia could blow its underground pipeline when it would be a significant beneficiary if the Nord Stream pipelines were working. Ukraine and many European states are pointing their fingers at the Kremlin. In the meantime, the European Union, NATO, and other key figures in the energy sector are holding the culprit’s identity (Russia Accuses UK of ‘Directing’ Nord Stream Blasts, n.d.). Something surprising is that every state and key figure involved in this mystery appears to have a motive or would benefit in one way or another from the outcome. As a result, it has become challenging to establish the true culprits in this matter. Therefore, it is essential to look at the possibility of what happened and who stands to benefit.
What Political and Economic Effects Did the Attack Have?
The current explosion has promoted an increase in political temperatures amid fears of possible sabotage (Bueger, n.d.). The incident has sparked mistrust among the stakeholders as no one is taking responsibility; instead, it is throwing blame. There was an already strained relationship between Europe, the West, and Russia following early this year’s (February 24) Kremlin invasion of Ukraine. It had direct economic and political impacts on Russia, Ukraine, and the global economy. The immediate financial impact of the war was the worldwide rise of coal, gas, and oil prices. After Russia invaded Ukraine, the prices skyrocketed, sending inflation to levels that had not been witnessed in decades. Economists have opined that the Russia-Ukraine war changed the global economy in less than one week.
On the other hand, political tension with the West led to sanctioning Russia and encouraging other states worldwide to follow suit. Russia-Ukraine War had already created irreparable economic and political problems. However, the explosion of the Nord Stream pipeline is just adding salt to a wound that is still bleeding. Even though reports indicate that there is no immediate economic impact following the explosion of the Nord Stream pipeline, there exist severe economic costs. The first impact is the damage to the infrastructure, which is the pipeline meant to transport gas from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea. It costs millions of dollars, if not billions, to develop that pipeline, and not serve the purpose it was meant to would lead to economic losses. The second impact is that the destroyed pipeline would cause a gas shortage. Because of the future uncertainty that will follow, inflation will be the next thing to happen (Nord Stream 1: How Russia Is Cutting Gas Supplies to Europe – BBC News, n.d.). Therefore, there will be a disruption of normal economic activity. Lastly, plunging the Kremlin gas has caused gas prices to soar in Europe. The EU countries have unsuccessfully found alternative energy suppliers to generate electricity, heat homes, and run factories.
The explosion was no accident, and whoever attacked Nord Stream was sponsored by a certain government. Given the attack, the resources involved, and the scale of the operations, the attack could have been carried out as an underwater operation using advanced and complex submarine technology. The first scenario may point out to a state and its navy. Secondly, this may imply a privately launched operation on a surface vessel sponsored by the state. Different versions of who attacked Nord Stream recently have emerged, with blame games from various state and non-state actors shaping these versions. Even though there is no proof of the real culprits who blew the Nord Stream, one thing is sure – a state-sponsored group was involved in blowing up this pipeline. The attacks have had both economic and political impacts.
- Bueger, C. (n.d.). Nord Stream pipeline sabotage: How an attack could have been carried out and why Europe was defenseless. The Conversation. http://theconversation.com/nord-stream-pipeline-sabotage-how-an-attack-could-have-been-carried-out-and-why-europe-was-defenceless-191895
- BBC News. (n.d.). Nord Stream 1: How Russia is cutting gas supplies to Europe https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60131520
- Oltermann, P., Beaumont, P., & Sabbagh, D. (2022, September 27). European leaders blame sabotage as gas pours into Baltic from Nord Stream pipelines. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/sep/27/nord-stream-1-2-pipelines-leak-baltic-sabotage-fears
- Russia accuses UK of ‘directing’ Nord Stream blasts. (n.d.). Aljazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/11/1/russia-accuses-uk-of-directing-nord-stream-blasts
- Shock and Awe: Who Attacked the Nord Stream Pipelines? – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. (n.d.). https://carnegieendowment.org/politika/88062
- Vakulenko, S. (n.d.). Shutting down Nord Stream marks the point of no return for Russian gas. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. https://carnegieendowment.org/politika/87837