Interview: Spanish expert blames U.S. for Nord Stream pipeline blast

(Xinhua) 10:50, February 28, 2023

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- "I increasingly believe that the incident that led to the breaking of the gas pipeline was the result of an action by the United States," a Spanish political expert said on Monday, noting the aim of which was to break German dependence on Russian gas.

Josep Puigsech, an expert on Russian affairs and professor of contemporary history at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, shared his thoughts with Xinhua about the Nord Stream pipeline incident that occurred in September last year.

"As there's a clear profit to be made by the United States and at the same time a strengthening of its geopolitical influence over Germany, and given the international dimension of the conflict, I'm increasingly convinced this was an action by the United States," he said.

"There were NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) operations in the Baltic in 2022 and a few months later this incident happened, so the general perception is that this was an action most likely had something to do with the NATO manoeuvers rather than with the Russian Federation," Puigsech said, dismissing initial reports that Russia was responsible for the incident.

The professor insisted that the damage to the pipeline dealt a severe blow to Russia and to its relationship with Western Europe.

"What's clear is that the honeymoon between cheap Russian gas for the benefit of Germany and other Western states and Russia's exporting capacity that generated significant economic resources for the Russian state has been definitively broken," he said.

According to Puigsech, the consequences of the Nord Stream incident are long-term: while increasing Germany's dependence on the U.S., the latter also forced Russia's energy out of Europe. And Russian energies would "very possibly" be reoriented to Asia.

After leaks were reported in the Nord Stream pipelines, which were built to carry natural gas from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea, Sweden and Denmark, in whose jurisdiction the leaks occurred, said the pipelines were deliberately sabotaged, although they did not say who was responsible for the attack.

Since then, speculation that the United States may have been behind the explosions has grown, culminating this month in a report by veteran Pulitzer Prize-winning American investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, which alleged that the bombing was carried out on the orders of the White House.

The Joe Biden administration has denied the allegations, but Puigsech believes that the United States has the most to gain from the destruction of the pipelines, arguing that one of the most important benefits to the U.S. is it could sell the natural gas from fracking to Germany.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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