Who was behind the attack on Nord Stream?
There is a consensus abroad that the Russians were almost certainly the ones who blew huge holes into the sides of the Nord Stream gas pipelines last week. Who else would be roguish enough to pull off this Bond-like stunt? But security experts in Germany have their doubts.
In this Monday’s newsletter I take a look at why.
Last Monday, the operator of Nord Stream 2 announced a sudden drop in pressure in the pipeline, which runs under the Baltic Sea. “There must be a hole there somewhere, but no one knows where,” a spokesman told the press.
Within hours reports came through that exactly the same thing had happened on the parallel Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Coastguards in Denmark and Sweden soon found huge foaming spots on the surface of the sea where leaked methane was bubbling out. It soon became clear - saboteurs had blown huge holes into the steel piping. It was an bizarre stunt to pull off given that neither pipeline is currently in operation.
Germany's intelligence agencies believe that the explosions were so powerful that they had the equivalent impact of 500 kg of TNT. The technical sophistication of such an operation means that only state actors are likely to have been able to carry it out.
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