The governments of the US and UK do NOT want the UN to determine who sabotaged the Nord Stream pipelines. A UN Security Council vote on Monday, Mar 27, 2023, denied the Russian Federation's petition for a UN-led investigation.
The UN's press release stated the "Russian Federation said his delegation was proposing the establishment of a United Nations-led, independent investigation into the Nord Stream gas pipeline attacks due to its 'serious and very well-founded doubts' about the transparency of national investigations currently being conducted, namely by Denmark, Germany, and Sweden." Three members voted in favor and 12 voted "abstention," resulting in insufficient votes to pass. Abstention blocks passage.
Are you curious who secretly blew up the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, simultaneously attacking Russia and Germany in the act of war? Evidently, Washington, DC, does not want the UN to poke around in this business. It could get messy. What might happen if we found out who did it?
Shortly after the undersea explosions, I concluded that the US government did not want us to know who did it. There was a fishy smell coming from Washington back in September when it happened. The first official story was that Russia did it, and immediately a handwaving denial of involvement by the CIA and White House. Now festering for half a year, what is emanating from DC surrounding this question has only grown stronger and fouler.
The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipeline pairs were sabotaged on Sept 26, 2022, by targeted underwater demolitions, rupturing three of the four 48" diameter natural gas pipes running 750 miles under the Gulf of Finland and Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. The demolitions occurred near the German end of the lines, close to the Danish island Bornholm, in Danish and Swedish economic zones.
The pipelines are owned by Gazprom, GAZP, the world's largest publicly listed natural gas company, with $120B in sales in 2019. Gazprom is the largest company in Russia and the 36th largest in the world. Privatized in 1989 by Boris Yeltsin, converting the Soviet Ministry of Gas Industry to a corporation, the Russian government now owns the majority of shares after the 2000 return to state rule by Vladimir Putin. As of 2017, 49.8% of the shares were held by investors in foreign stock markets, other legal entities, and individuals, with the Russian government owning a controlling interest of just over half the shares.
Russia has the largest natural gas reserves in the world. Gazprom has a legal monopoly on exporting natural gas from Russia. The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines together were capable of moving four trillion cubic feet per year of natural gas from Russia to Germany. Gazprom supplied 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas to Germany and Western Europe in 2021 via Nord Stream 1. 55% of the natural gas and 30% of the oil used in Germany had come from Russia, and Germany was reselling some of the imported Russian gas at a profit to other European states. In 2021 45% of the natural gas imported in the European states came through Nord Stream. Instead of a massive amount of clean and low-cost Russian natural gas, firewood was suddenly in high demand in Germany over the winter, and Germany's energy prices have skyrocketed.
The Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipeline pair completed construction in 2021 but did not enter service following strong pushback. The US government has opposed NS2 since the proposal phase. Sanctions were imposed by the US on Nord Stream 2 construction in 2019 and expanded in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to "thwart the progress." The European Commission stated that the US was threatening Europe's energy supplies. In February 2022, the US imposed additional sanctions on NS2. The two NS2 A and B pipelines were complete and pressurized but had not yet been certified for transmission by the German government when the war with Russia in Ukraine started. NS2 has never been used to deliver gas.
When the sabotage occurred, the ruptured NS2 A pipe had been filled with 11 billion cubic feet of natural gas, and the pressure dropped from 105 to 7 bar. The NS2 B pipe remains intact and pressurized, available to deliver gas according to Russia.
The four pipes were not transmitting gas when blown up but were pressurized. Methane makes up the largest component, a greenhouse gas worse than CO2. The EDF estimated the demolition resulted in 250M pounds of methane released into the atmosphere, and a German estimate put it at 660M pounds. This is the largest gas leak in human history, equivalent to the yearly emissions of 5.5 million cars. Care about global warming, anyone?
Russia's initial estimate of the repair costs was reported to be about $500M. Nord Stream AG stated that a repair might be impossible unless done quickly due to seawater corrosion. The Washington Post reported the demolition is likely to put an end to the project. Nord Stream 1 construction cost was about 6B euros, and Nord Stream 2 cost about 10B euros.
Somebody took out about 16B euros total worth of property, ended 54% of the gas imports into Europe, and produced greenhouse gases for a year operation of 5 million cars. Yet the US government doesn't want the UN to find out and tell us who did it and officially appears uninterested in knowing itself.
Does this make you wonder if the US government knows who did it, doesn't want us to know, and would rather the question fade from the public mind as uninteresting and not a concern?
Biden's Verbal Snafu
President Joe Biden made the US government's position on Nord Stream 2 quite clear. Apparently, his handlers lost control for a minute.
"If Russia invades, that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine again, then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it… I promise you, we will be able do that." ∼President Joe Biden, 2021, Joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, C-SPAN
Following Biden's statement at the news conference, Chancellor Scholz spoke of "severe measures" Germany would implement against Russia, saying Germany is "well prepared with far-reaching measures." Scholz said, "We will be united, we will act together, and that we will take all the necessary steps." What Scholz did NOT say is anything about Joe Biden's "there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2" —yet he spoke immediately after Biden. Should Scholz's silence after such an astounding statement of intent be interpreted as concurrence with whatever Biden was referring to? One might suspect Scholz knew what Biden was talking about but had the sufficient mental capacity to know not to blurt it out at a news conference.
Sometimes if you listen, people will tell you what they are up to. Occasionally a neuron in Joe Biden fires in a way his superiors can't stop until it's too late, and we accidentally learn something. Oops!
The Russian Federation's request for an independent investigation was "heatedly debated" in the UN Security Council in February 2023 and denied then. Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia had presented a request from Moscow, saying the UN Secretary-General is "someone we trust." US Ambassador to the UN John Kelley responded that Russia's investigation request was a "blatant attempt to distract" the UN from the real problem - Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Ah, yes, the "conspiracy theory" defense—from the government that invented the phrase "conspiracy theory" for use in propaganda to distract the public from the truth. From the government that knows nothing about the Kennedy assassination, lied to the UN about weapons of mass destruction to get a war started, and secretly traded guns for cocaine. "Trust me!" says Washington, DC.
The UN Security Council vote might be interpreted to indicate they know who the terrorists are and consider it best to keep quiet. It might be construed to indicate that some countries were told to shut up and not ask questions. But the question won't go away because most of the UN Security Council willfully ignore it.
Who Done It?
The US and UK governments are on the list of suspects in the sabotage. The US government's words and actions demonstrated motive, and the US is technically capable of pulling off the complex operation. The US and UK had the personnel and equipment in the area shortly before the explosions during the July BATOPS 22 NATO exercise, when 45 ships, 75 aircraft, and 7,500 people practiced destroying Russia in the Baltic region. Not proof, of course, but enough to arouse suspicions and bring in a suspect for questioning.
Yet these suspects were on the UN's Grand Jury, determining if the crime should be investigated. The suspects determined no investigation should be conducted. Should we be surprised when there is no indictment from a Grand Jury when suspects sit on the jury itself?
"Nothing to see here, folks; move along."
- paraphrasing the US government's official position on Nord Stream
This article is Part 1 of a series covering the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage. Part 2 covers the operation's technical challenges and the three different culprits to the demolition that has been attributed so far. Part 3 analyzes the possibilities for each of the three possible culprits blamed so far and wonders why the US government doesn't want us to know who did it.