Sunday 2 October 2022

Who sabotaged the Nordstream pipeline?

A friend asked me today who I thought responsible for sabotaging the Nordstream pipeline. I hadn't thought about it and had gone along with the idea pushed in the British press that it was probably the Russians, even though I could see no reason for them doing so. Thinking about it, to my surprise, I realised it was very mysterious. 

Who benefits? Only the Americans and Ukrainians and the Ukrainians do not have the means to have done it.

This is Fred Weir today on Facebook, posting this article about America's sabotage of a Siberian oil pipeline in 1982.

It's just a long-standing fact that the US has never liked Germany's dependence on Russian energy, and even 4 decades ago was willing to resort to sabotage to undermine it. There are probably several actors with a strong interest in making Germany's divorce from the Russian gas pipe permanent and irreversible, but I don't have the sense that Russia is one of them. I don't suppose we'll ever know for sure, but I wouldn't be inclined to accept anyone's sanctimonious talking points at face value. I personally tend to resonate with the credo of the great Claud Cockburn, who was fond of saying "I never believe anything until it's been officially denied."


  1. I was under the impression that the Germans changed their minds about it and decided to cancel it because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. I'm pretty sure that is what happened.

  2. Forty years ago, the US found the USSR covertly copying pipeline-control software. The Reagan Administration found this too tempting an opportunity to ignore, and saw to it that the software copied would have a flaw that caused the pipelines to go over sustainable pressures and fail.

    Those pipelines were in Siberia, i.e. a long way from the Baltic. It seems unlikely to me that they had any effect on the provision of fuel to Germany. And I doubt that anyone Russian has ever trusted American pipeline-control software since this become known, which must be thirty-five or thirty years ago.

  3. Smart trick by the Reagan Administration. Although the tenderhearted would weep over the loss of Russian trust.