Putin only needed the Nord Stream pipeline for blackmail or war: EU officials

A European Union official has blamed both Russia and the US over recent damage to the Nord Stream oil pipelines in the Baltic Sea.

Officials in Europe on Tuesday began investigating leaks originating from the two pipelines Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2, which were built by Russia and allow the country to pipe gas to Germany. Leaders in Norway and Sweden have indicated that the leaks are likely the result of “sabotage” or some general “premeditated” action, while the Kremlin isn’t ruling out the possibility either.

In response to the development Radek Sikorsky, a former Polish defense minister and elected member of the European Parliament, took to Twitter to seemingly blame the US for the oil spills. The Polish leader tweeted a photo of the leak being circulated and wrote: “Thank you USA.”

Sikorski followed that tweet with another criticizing Russia, claiming that the pipelines were unnecessary and only used to give Russian President Vladimir Putin leverage in a possible war in Eastern Europe. Although not clear from his tweets, it appears that the leader’s message of gratitude to the US may have been legitimate given his subsequent harsh criticism of Russia.

“By the way, there is no shortage of pipeline capacity to transport gas from Russia to Western Europe, including Germany,” Sikorski said added. “Nordstream’s only logic was that Putin should be able to blackmail Eastern Europe or wage war with impunity. All Ukrainian and Baltic states have opposed the construction of Nord Stream for 20 years at a cost to Russia by its criminal decision to invade Ukraine.”

Between Sikorski’s tweets thanking the US and criticizing Russia, his first post was quoted in a tweet by Stanisław Żaryn, Poland’s foreign minister, who condemned allegations against the US as Russian propaganda.

“Russian #propaganda immediately launched a smear campaign against Poland, the US and Ukraine, accusing the West of aggression against #NS1 and #NS2,” Żaryn said tweeted. “The authentication of the Russian lies at this particular moment endangers the security of Poland. What gross irresponsibility!”

us russia nordstream EU allegations
Above, Polish MEP Radek Sikorski. Sikorski on Tuesday blamed the U.S. for the Nord Stream pipeline leaks and criticized Russia for using them as blackmail tools in the war.
Wojtek Laski/Getty Images

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline was completed last year but has yet to be opened by Germany due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February. A few weeks before the invasion began, President Joe Biden told reporters that the US would work to ensure that the pipeline would never go live if Russia went through with its alleged plans for Ukraine. When asked, he did not provide any information on how this would happen.

“I promise you we will get through this,” Biden said on Feb. 7.

news week has reached out to the White House for comment.

https://www.newsweek.com/putin-only-needed-nord-stream-pipeline-blackmail-war-eu-official-1746851 Putin only needed the Nord Stream pipeline for blackmail or war: EU officials

Rick Schindler

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