I keep hearing this Nord Stream talking point, “Why would Russia blow up their own pipeline?” This generated in the American right-wing media ecosystem very quickly, so let’s get some facts straight – Nord Stream 1 & 2 aren’t only “Russian” pipelines – they’re JOINT ventures with Russian Gazprom paying half the cost of construction and a group of western companies paying half:
“Gazprom paid half the cost of building Nord Stream 2, with the remainder of the $11 billion pipeline project financed by British oil and gas major Shell (SHEL.L), Austria’s OMV (OMVV.VI), France’s Engie and Germany’s Uniper (UN01.DE) and Wintershall DEA (WINT.UL).” Source: Reuters article from March 2022.
The Europeans have been trying to keep Russia pumping gas, because especially the Germans are very dependent on that Russian gas. First there were reports that Nord Stream 1 was shut down due to needing repairs back in July and Canada sent the repaired turbine to Germany for that repair.
By August Russia said they couldn’t do the repairs on Nord Stream 1
Nord Stream 2 wasn’t even operational yet.
“The construction of the pipeline started in 2011, to expand the Nord Stream line and double annual capacity to 110 billion cubic metres (3.9 trillion cubic feet). It was completed in September 2021, but has not yet entered service.” Source: Wikipedia
Russia has a massive gas pipeline project with China, that when completed will reach all the way to Shanghai.
Russia has other lucrative gas and oil deals with numerous countries and is the largest oil exporter in the world and will surely find new markets, while the Europeans are scrambling to find oil and gas to get through this winter. Even the US was importing Russian oil.
So, let’s look at this idea of “Why would Russia blow up their own pipeline?” Well, Russia was putting the screws to the Europeans, especially the Germans, trying to pressure them to back down on supporting Ukraine. The Europeans and US and Canada held their alliance together with supporting Ukraine and escalated the sanctions against Russia. Russia refused to get Nord Stream 1 operational and stopped pumping gas, then issued more threats and even threatened nuclear war, while the Germans were still trying to get Russia to resume shipping gas and scrambling to try to find other sources around the world. Russia exerted its influence with OPEC, so when Biden went to Saudi Arabia, begging for more oil, he was rebuffed.
Russia expanded their market in India by offering huge discounts. Here’s a September 2022 article: Russia is now offering even more discounts to India on oil
Why would the US or Europeans blow up Nord Stream 1, which will devastate western companies, while Gazprom has expanding markets?
Russia had already cut its losses on Nord Stream and can survive without Nord Stream, while the Europeans and US are scrounging around for oil and gas. Of course, in the US the oil and gas shortages are completely due to the Biden administration’s decision to kill the American oil and gas industry with their crazy green energy plan, but still what would the US gain by blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines, which Russia had already written off and was using to try to blackmail the Germans to abandon Ukraine? Russia would gain a lot by giving the Germans and Europeans the middle finger by blowing that up and threatening nuclear war. It would show the Western alliance that Russia won’t hesitate to use more force. At the same time the Nord Stream explosions occurred, Putin announced Russia was annexing parts of Ukraine.
I can’t say 100% who sabotaged the Nord Stream pipelines, but I can say there’s a lot of evidence that Russia had plenty of motivations to give a big middle finger to European leaders and to let them know that if they continue aiding Ukraine, Russia will retaliate forcefully.
So many right-wing Americans blame the US for Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, while absolving Putin of any blame. I disagreed with US policy decisions in Ukraine during the Obama administration and I disagree with a lot of decisions the Biden administration has made before and since Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year. However, Russia also has escalated this war and Russia is the one threatening nuclear war. Putin is not some victim in this war and Russia had no legitimate right to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Part of why so many Americans rushed to buy into blaming the US for the Nord Stream explosions I blame on the Democrats and their corrupt “Trump/Russia Collusion” smear campaign, which was total bs. That years-long Democrat smear effort led many Americans on the right to just discount Russian disinformation as being a real thing. I blame Trump too, because at times he talked like Putin was a great guy.
And here’s the beauty of the useful idiots in the US carrying water for Russian propaganda- they hate Biden so much that they will make excuses for Putin these days. Tucker Carlson rushed to carry that water a few days ago. Carlson also frequently casts Putin as a good guy. Lots of other ordinary people on social media have too. I watched a prepper video recently by a hard-working, decent American guy, who hates Biden and the left’s radical agenda a lot, which I understand completely. He was quoting RT – Russia Today as his source and I was wondering how Americans could be so willing to buy into Russian propaganda.
Here’s the thing about Putin – he hates America and the West (that includes right-wing Americans too) and he’s still very much the KGB agent. Despite the Democrats calling everything on the right in America “Russian disinformation,” the reality is actual Russian disinformation still exists and unfortunately now right-wingers in America, who used to understand the Russian threat, are walking around citing RT and talking about how Putin isn’t such a bad guy. Our own domestic spin war has led so many Americans to distrust our own government and each other more than they distrust Putin, who wants to destroy the West and rebuild the former Soviet Union. And, I suppose many Americans no longer remember the Cold War or understand that history.