The U.S. and Europe are increasingly certain that Russian sabotage caused the explosions that resulted in massive leaks from pipelines carrying natural gas to Germany earlier this week.
- Now the allies are trying to determine whether the Nord Stream I and Nord Stream II blasts were meant to be “a new warning from Moscow about the continent’s energy supplies heading into winter,” according to POLITICO (subscription).
What’s happening: Following three separate pipeline explosions Monday under the Baltic Sea near Denmark and Sweden, the Council of the European Union pledged a “robust and united response” to the explosions.
Accident unlikely: “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,” a former German Federal Intelligence Service president told a German news outlet, according to POLITICO.
- Russia’s involvement in the pipeline attacks is “unequivocal,” a former State Department energy program head said. The message: “‘Prepare for a life without Russian gas. … It’s a threat of a complete cutoff.’”
U.S. helping Europe: “U.S. energy companies are shipping liquefied natural gas to Europe as part of an effort to make up for supply disruptions caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine.”
- On Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “We’re working to continue to surge LNG supplies to Europe. . . .”
Meanwhile, a four-month-old transit-fee disagreement between Ukrainian gas company Naftogaz and Russia’s Gazprom continues, jeopardizing one of the only other continued gas flows to Europe, also according to POLITICO.
- “If deliveries across Ukraine end, that would leave the only Russian gas flowing into the EU coming via a branch of the TurkStream pipeline landing in Bulgaria and then heading to Hungary, Greece and the Balkans.”