There’s one more reason for increased tension between Russia and the West and it’s causing many to fear what has become a ticking time bomb.
The White House released a statement this week that large leaks in the gas pipeline under the sea that runs from Russia to Germany are the result of “apparent sabotage.”
Jake Sullivan, the United States national security adviser, said on Tuesday night that he had spoken with his Danish colleague and counterpart about the leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines and he referenced the “apparent sabotage” in his remarks.
“I spoke to my counterpart Jean-Charles Ellermann-Kingombe of Denmark about the apparent sabotage of Nord Stream pipelines,” Sullivan wrote in a tweet. “The U.S. is supporting efforts to investigate and we will continue our work to safeguard Europe’s energy security.”
This storyline was picked up on Wednesday morning by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. She also said that the Nord Stream pipeline leaks were the result of “apparent sabotage.”
These pipelines running under the Baltic Sea contained gas but were not actually supplying the product to Europe at the time of the leak. Jean-Pierre told reporters, “We have been in touch with our European partners there about the apparent sabotage of the pipelines. We are supporting European efforts to investigate this. The investigation is still underway, and it could take some time.”
The press secretary was asked whether the United States would consider the leaks an attack on a NATO ally that would be worthy of retaliation. She responded that she would not get out in front of the investigation. She made it clear that we had to see who was behind the leak at this time.
There are leaders ins Europe who have gone much further than the United States regarding who they believe is responsible for the leaks. The prime minister of Denmark said on Tuesday that it was their authority’s clear assessment that there were deliberate actions and not actions that have taken place. She also added no information indicating who was actually behind it, according to information from the Associated Press.
Kremlin Denies Russia Was Behind Pipeline Leaks
The Kremlin said that accusations that Russia might be behind the leaks were “absurd,” according to Interfax, a Russian news agency.
Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman told reporters on Wednesday, “It is quite predictable and predictably ridiculous and absurd to make up such theories. This gas costs a fortune but it is now siphoning off into the air.”
The prime minister of Poland said that the leak was an act of sabotage, and this was also supported by Sweden’s acting prime minister who called it “probably” a case of sabotage, according to the Associated Press.
According to a report by experts that was given to ABC News, there is only one country that might benefit from the pipeline leaks, and that is Russia. Officials have not yet offered any evidence of Russia’s involvement.
Ben Cahill is a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He said that no one except Russia stands to gain from sabotaging the pipelines.
This kind of sabotage fits with the agenda of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It will serve to create confusion and panic in Europe and it will likely diminish European solidarity. Cahill also said that this move creates risk for Russia as well.
Matthew Schmidt, director of the International Affairs program at the University of New Haven, said that if it is true that Russia is culpable it is like Putin “cutting off his nose to spite his face.”
Russia is likely infuriated that the United States announced this week that they are giving $1.1 billion in new security assistance for Ukraine. This money includes long-range missile systems, armored vehicles, radars, and more.
The international chess game continues and Russia is getting even more cornered.