The explosions on the gas pipelines have made it easier to force American LNG on Europe, says the Russian president
Those who benefit most from the damage to the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea are the ones responsible for it, Russian President Vladmir Putin has said.
“Everyone understands who is behind this and who is the beneficiary. You can now push the liquefied natural gas from the US to European countries on a much larger scale,” Putin said in a speech at the Russian Energy Week forum in Moscow on Wednesday.
The president pointed out that US liquefied natural gas (LNG) is “definitely less competitive than Russian pipeline gas” because of its higher price.
Regarding the explosions on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, Putin said: “all the facts have been proven and documented. And the ideologues and sponsors of these crimes are their ultimate beneficiaries; those who profit from instability and conflict.”
“Who is behind the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines? Obviously, they are looking to completely sever ties between Russia and the EU, undermine Europe’s political sovereignty, weaken its industrial capacity and gain control over its markets,” the president said.
They are also the ones who “have the technical capacity to carry out such explosions and have already resorted to such sabotage – were caught red-handed doing it, but avoided responsibility,” he added.
The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, built to deliver Russian gas to the EU via Germany, suddenly lost pressure on September 26, following a series of powerful underwater explosions off the Danish island of Bornholm. The cracks, widely believed to be the result of sabotage, led to massive gas leaks and rendered them unusable. Moscow later said one of the lines of Nord Stream 2 remained unaffected and offered to supply gas to Europe through it.
Western media have speculated that Russia could have blown up its own pipelines to put the EU under even more pressure amid the energy crisis. Moscow has denied such claims, and Putin previously said the “Anglo-Saxons”, a byword for the US-UK alliance, could have been behind what the Russian side described as “international terrorism”.
Shortly after the leaks were found, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken hailed the incident as a “tremendous opportunity” for Europe “to once and for all remove dependence on Russian energy.”
In late September, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev said Moscow had obtained “certain material, which points to a Western trail in organizing and carrying out” the blasts on the Nord Stream pipelines. He argued that the United States was the main beneficiary of the disruption and cited the CIA-backed attack on Nicaragua’s oil infrastructure in the 1980s as a historical example of US involvement in such types of sabotage.