Following the damage to Nord Stream pipelines linking Russia to Europe, there have been speculations regarding who would benefit from such an act. No party has cast blame on another but NATO called the leaks an act of sabotage without directly blaming Russia and vowed retaliation.
A report by news agency Associated Press cited seismologists who said the leaks were preceded by explosions. It also said that seismic stations in Denmark, Norway and Finland registered separate explosions on the southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm and another explosion on the northeast side.
Swedish prime minister Magdalena Andersson also claimed that it would have taken a large explosive device to cause the damage. The Swedish coast guard confirmed a fourth leak on the pipelines off southern Sweden. Two leaks were previously reported but now there are four leaks with two on the Swedish side and two on the Danish side.
The Kremlin, without naming the US, said the blasts were possible due to the involvement of a ‘state actor’. “It looks like a terror attack, probably conducted on a state level,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said. But Russian foreign minister Maria Zakharova claimed that the blasts occurred in areas where Washington exercised ‘full control.’
Pres. Biden: "If Russia invades…then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it."Reporter: "But how will you do that, exactly, since…the project is in Germany's control?"
— ABC News (@ABC) February 7, 2022
Meanwhile, right-leaning media outlets and independent journalists on Twitter have shared an old video from February where Biden says that there will be no Nord Stream 2 if Russia invades Ukraine. Fast forward to September, the deal is called off between Moscow and Berlin but the sudden blasts in the pipeline has also caused renewed concerns regarding the US’ role as Europe stares at a harsh winter.
Meanwhile in Russia: every state TV program is feasting on Tucker Carlson's accusations that the Biden administration is somehow involved in causing the Nord Stream damage. Military expert loved Tucker's idea about cutting undersea internet cables & said, "Sure, why not?" Watch: pic.twitter.com/bDVwl2Z7yN— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) September 29, 2022
Fox News host Tucker Carlson, known for his controversial views, also suggested that Vladimir Putin is unlikely to order explosions in the Nord Stream pipelines as gas exports are a means of revenue.
Biden in Feb 2022: "If Russia invades…then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it."Q: "But how will you do that, exactly, since…the project is in Germany's control?"
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) September 27, 2022
“If you are Vladimir Putin you would have to be a suicidal moron to blow up your own energy pipeline—that’s one thing you would never do… Natural gas pipelines are the main source of your power and wealth. And most critically, your leverage over other countries,” Carlson said on his prime time show and then went on to play the video clip of Biden saying Nord Stream 2 won’t exist in the event of a Russian invasion.
Russian media outlets were quick to use the segment for their own primetime shows casting speculation if the US was indeed responsible for the blasts.
Reporter: "Do you hold Russia responsible for the rupture of the Nord Stream pipeline?"Biden: "Let's stick with this, okay?"
Reporter: "This is an important international issue!"
Biden: "There's a lot of important ignrtinternthationsh issues." pic.twitter.com/L9BghtyL8J
— Washington Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) September 29, 2022
US president Joe Biden who during a visit to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters in Washington also dodged questions on the pipeline leaks leading to speculation that the US may have been involved in the blasts.