Anita Hipper, the representative of the European Commission for internal affairs, migration and internal security, said that the investigation into the Nord Stream incident is ongoing.
“If we talk about the Swedish authorities, we were indeed informed that the damage to the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines was caused by deliberate sabotage, but investigations (of this incident.
) in Sweden, Denmark and Germany are still are ongoing, and these investigations are under the jurisdiction of the Member States (EU.
),” the EC representative explained.
As Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Alexander Novak stated on December 25, 2022, the technical possibility of repairing Nord Stream remains, but “it takes money, time.”
Symbols of Nord Stream 2
© Daniel Reinhardt
In turn, according to a source in The New York Times, at the end of December, Nord Stream AG began estimating the cost of repairing the gas pipeline and restoring gas supply after the emergency at Nord Stream.
At the end of December last year, the Federal Office of the Trade Register of Switzerland published a court decision in the canton of Zug, which states that the bankruptcy procedure for the operator of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2 AG, has been extended until July 10, 2023.
The document notes that the court extended for this period a temporary moratorium on the payment of loans for Nord Stream 2. At the same time, the Swiss company Transliq AG remains the temporary administrative manager.
"Act of International Terrorism"
Recall that on September 26, terrorist attacks took place on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines at sites near the Danish island of Bornholm.
Foreign objects with traces of explosives were found and seized at the site of the explosions, the Swedish Security Service reported.
On September 30, speaking in the Kremlin following the results of referendums in the DPR, LPR, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Anglo-Saxon forces were involved in organizing terrorist attacks on gas pipelines.
Later, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev called Washington the beneficiary of the terrorist attacks.
However, speculation began in the West that Russia allegedly carried out the attacks on the Nord Stream itself.
This, in particular, was stated by Russian Ambassador to Italy Sergei Razov during a speech on October 6 on the Rai 1 TV channel, calling such statements "Russophobic propaganda."
Later, on December 21, The Washington Post published an article stating that more and more officials in Western countries are convinced that the Russian Federation was not involved in undermining Nord Stream.
“At the moment, there is no evidence that Russia was behind the sabotage,” WP quoted the European official as saying, emphasizing that he repeated the assessment of 23 diplomatic and intelligence officials in nine countries interviewed by journalists from the newspaper in recent weeks.
As the authors of the article note, some officials have directly stated that they do not consider the Russian Federation responsible for blowing up the pipelines.
On December 22, answering journalists' questions, Vladimir Putin said that "everyone recognized" what happened at Nord Stream as a terrorist attack.
At the same time, according to the Russian leader, the attack was carried out with the support of a number of countries, and not by private individuals.
“This is an act of international, I would say, state terrorism.
Because individuals, private individuals, natural persons alone, without the support of state structures, are not able to carry out such attacks.
It is clear that this was done with the support of states,” the Russian President said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin
© Mikhail Klimentiev
According to Putin, Nord Stream was blown up by those who are interested in the transit of Russian gas to Europe exclusively through Ukraine.
In addition, as the President of the Russian Federation noted, no one is conducting a full-fledged investigation of terrorist attacks on gas pipelines, and Russia was only once given the opportunity to inspect the sites of explosions.
"Filter out bad results"
As Igor Yushkov, a leading analyst at the National Energy Security Fund, noted in a RT commentary, the Russian side is deliberately not allowed to participate in the investigation.
“The EU has not even formed a single pan-European commission.
This suggests that within the union they do not even trust each other, not to mention the Russian Federation.
Sweden, Denmark and Germany may have different goals in the investigations: someone wants to find out the details of what happened, and someone does not.
But everyone definitely intends to hide evidence of the involvement of the United States and other Western countries in sabotage, since Russia is not allowed to participate in the process.
In the West, they will filter out the inconvenient results of the investigation and publish only what is permissible, ”the expert believes.
In turn, Deputy Director General of the National Energy Institute Alexander Frolov called the situation surrounding the investigation of the terrorist attacks on the Nord Streams strange, given the scale of the emergency and the significance of these gas pipelines.
“One of the largest pipelines in the world and the most important for the EU was blown up.
Nord Stream was an energy artery for the European Union, and Nord Stream 2 was supposed to become the same channel.
It is very strange that investigative actions are carried out so leisurely and even lazily.
There was a terrorist attack on an international scale, and the reaction should be appropriate, but we do not observe it from the European Union, ”the analyst emphasized in an interview with RT.
Frolov also believes that the reason for the "lazy reaction" lies in the fact that the European authorities understand "where their investigation may lead, and do not want to disclose all the information to the public."
At the same time, behind the decision to extend the bankruptcy procedure for the Nord Stream 2 operator for six months is the desire of officials in the EU to "insure", the expert believes.
“The EU and the Swiss side, apparently, are still hoping that the situation will somehow resolve itself and that Europe will still have the opportunity to achieve the restoration and launch of Nord Stream 2.
But at the moment, the EU is not doing anything for this,” Frolov said.
Yushkov also regarded the prolongation of the bankruptcy procedure for the operator of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as an attempt "not to put an end to this project."
“For European officials, it is now more profitable to reserve the opportunity to use Nord Stream 2 in the future with at least one whole pipe through which gas can be transported.
In Europe, they are afraid to finally burn all the bridges, because if there is an energy collapse in the EU, then in extreme cases it will be possible to resort to this option.
And if Nord Stream 2 goes bankrupt, it will be much more difficult to launch such a scenario,” the analyst believes.
Nord Stream 2 pipeline
© Stefan Sauer
At the same time, experts agree that a number of conditions must be met for the restoration of Nord Stream.
In particular, according to Frolov, in the situation with Nord Stream 2, first of all, it is necessary to resolve the issue of permission to operate this gas pipeline from the EU.
“As for the Nord Stream, before its possible reconstruction, the gas pumping units at the Portovaya compressor station, which pumped gas through the pipeline, must first be restored to working capacity,” Frolov said.
In addition to resolving these contradictions, there should also be a normalization of political relations between Russia and the EU, experts are sure.
“Without this, gas pipelines cannot be restored.
The Russian Federation will be ready to repair Nord Streams only if it has guarantees that they will definitely begin to be used in the future.
Russia has the technical capabilities to restore pipelines.
But for their reconstruction, first of all, political will on the part of European officials and their readiness to push anti-Russian politics into the background are needed, ”concluded Yushkov.