International Relations

The United States bombed the Nord Stream gas pipeline

An American investigative journalist claims that the US Central Intelligence Agency was responsible for the September 2022 bombing of the undersea Nord Stream gas pipelines (CIA).

What is Nord Stream Pipeline?

(1) Nord Stream 1:

  • Nord Stream 1 is the world’s largest pipeline, connecting Russia and Europe via Germany.
  • It is a network of offshore natural gas pipelines that connect Russia to Germany.
  • Nord Stream 1 is a 1,224-kilometer underwater gas pipeline that connects Vyborg, Russia, to Lubmin, Germany, via the Baltic Sea.

(2) Nord Stream 2:

  • Russian threats to cut off Europe’s gas supply pose an economic risk to Germany.
  • Germany decided to build Nord Stream 2 to increase options and double Russian supply.
  • The $11 billion Nord Stream 2 project was completed in 2021 but never began commercial operations.

Why the Nord Stream pipeline is so much in news?

  • For Germany: Because of cheap gas supplies via Nord Stream 1, energy prices in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, are among the lowest on the continent. This also makes German-made goods more competitive in the global market.
  • For the European Union: Russia supplied nearly 40% of the EU’s natural gas needs through this pipeline in 2021. The flows through Nord Stream are critical to filling the EU’s national storage tanks. It is critical to provide adequate heating during the upcoming winter.
  • For Russia: Russia is using supplies via the critical pipeline as a bargain to navigate its economy through western sanctions.

How is the Nord Stream pipeline currently progressing?

  • The Nord Stream pipeline is Russia’s largest single supply route to Europe. The pipeline is majority owned by the Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom.
  • While the pipeline had been operating at only 20% of its capacity since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the company completely cut gas flows from the pipeline in early September under the guise of maintenance.
  • According to Bloomberg, before the Russia-Ukraine war, 40% of Europe’s pipeline gas came from Russia; now, the figure is only 9%.
  • Despite the fact that neither pipeline was operational, it contained millions of cubic metres of gas.
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