Who blew the Nord gas pipelines and will they be held to account?

Photo by Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Contributed from Victoria

The Baltic Sea Nord Stream1and 2 gas pipelines were blown up on 26 September last year. The initial response from some quarters was that the Russians did the deed. No one explained what they would have to gain by destroying their own multi-billion-dollar project, and one that would do a great deal to lift foreign trade earnings.

The gas wasn’t flowing anyway. Nord 1 had been turned off over the conflict in Ukraine. This was to punish Germany for its involvement. Nord 2 had not yet entered service.

The story about Russia doing the bombing made no sense and died very quickly. Next came the accusation that it was the United States, via a story penned by American journalist Seymour Hersh Seymour Hersh’s who said that President Joe Biden personally ordered the deed. Washington has not denied it.

Nord stream gas pipeline sabotage

Video from Amit Sengupta

Given the probable blow to American prestige and the West’s involvement in Ukraine if this were to continue to air, the west’s major media outlets put an effective ban on the story. The Nord pipeline is something not to be talked about.

Such an act is a major crime. To make it worse, it created a major environmental disaster over the Baltic region and added considerably to global carbon emissions.

All of this provides grounds to suspect that Washington was involved.

The hastily drawn up friendly nations team to conduct an investigation and bypass any that might come from the United Nations adds further grounds for suspicion.

Under these circumstances, it is no surprise that Russia  has “no trust” in the partisan investigation by only nations actively involved on the other side of the Ukraine conflict. Russia has called for an independent United Nations investigation. The partisan western nations are refusing to allow this to happen and accuse Russia of trying to use the issue to distract attention.

This investigation has been biased. Even so, it has not been able to cover up one little fact. The destruction of the pipelines was caused “by powerful explosions due to sabotage.” No one denies that this is what happened.

Meanwhile, the matter is being argued out in the Security Council.

It is worth noting that the Columbia University economist Professor Jeffrey Sachs told the Council:

“It is the responsibility of the UN Security Council to take up the question of who might have carried out the act in order to bring the perpetrator to international justice, to pursue compensation for the damaged parties and to prevent future such actions.”

He went to say the destruction “required a very high degree of planning, expertise and technological capacity,” and “only a handful of state-level actors have both the technical capacity and access to the Baltic Sea to have carried out this action, including the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, Poland, Norway, Germany, Denmark and Sweden, either individually or in some combination.

The crime was committed. There is absolutely no doubt about this. One or more governments were involved. Motive is important. The United States and its allies gain by the economic impact this has on Russia. Russia has nothing to gain.

On the other hand, it is the United States that has the most at stake. Washington has invested a great deal and its credibility on a victory in Ukraine.

None of this is definitive proof. It does, however, provide a compelling argument for a real and independent international investigation. One in which all parties are able to participate. Substituting this by a biased pretend investigation is not good enough. There must be greater transparency, and the media blackout must cease.

Those responsible must be found and held to account.

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