January 27, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Who blew "Nordic streams"

After the information that breaks were found on all 3 branches of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, no one has any doubt that this was a sabotage. But who could do it, and who benefited from it?

Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the National Defense magazine, believes that such a diversion could be beneficial for the United States, Great Britain, Poland and Ukraine. According to him, “the British Prime Minister Liz Truss could personally authorize a covert operation to blow up the Nord Stream pipelines.” In this case, he added, “the actions of Great Britain can be qualified as international terrorism, Russia has the right to strike back.”

The pipes of the SP-1 and SP-2 gas pipelines are laid at a depth of 80–110 m. These depths are achievable for divers, they do not require deep-sea equipment and highly complex training, as deep-sea divers do. MASHNEWS was told about this in a Russian manufacturer of diving equipment.

As another interlocutor of the publication, the chief designer of the enterprise-developer of underwater vehicles, emphasized, “one or two” underwater vehicles with the appropriate equipment are enough to lay an explosive device or drill holes in pipes. “These can be both remotely operated uninhabited underwater vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous vehicles (AUVs),” the specialist said.

He added that almost all Baltic countries, as well as NATO member states, have similar devices.

Submersible inspects pipeline / oceaneering.com

A military expert, captain 1st rank in the reserve, Vladimir Gundarov, has a similar opinion. In his opinion, which he voiced to journalists MKthe version of sabotage is very plausible and has solid grounds.

In particular, on September 22, the FSB prevented a terrorist attack on the Turkish Stream pipeline, where a saboteur was preparing a similar pipe explosion. This means that we can already talk about some targeted actions against the Russian gas industry.

– There is no doubt, – says Vladimir Gundarov, – that sabotage was definitely organized against the Nord Stream.

– There are different opinions in the media. In particular, that supposedly a sea vessel could touch the anchor with an anchor.

– Firstly, all shipowners know where these gas pipelines run – and the incident occurred specifically in the area of ​​the Danish island of Bornholm – naturally, no one will drop anchor there. Secondly, even if this anchor were dropped, and it even touched the gas pipeline, it would not be able to break through the thread. This requires a much greater force of influence. So it was definitely a sabotage, and, most likely, the British did it.

– Do you think they are not Ukrainians? Is it the English? But why?

– Because it is beneficial for them, and because they have such an opportunity. The UK Naval Special Forces base is located in Norway north of Tromso. This is the former Norwegian military base Olavsverna, carved inside the mountain for submarines to enter in the same years as the Swedish Muske. The underground tunnel was laid by Norwegian engineers, and the British were engaged in fortification.

Officially, the Olavsvern ceased to be an object of the Norwegian fleet back in 2002. But the British continued to stay on it. It turned out by chance, when the British The Times wrote about the death at this base in an accident of the commander of the British Navy’s special forces unit, Lieutenant Colonel Richard van der Horst.

Then there was a period when it was covered up and even sold to businessman Gunnar Wilhelmsen, who leased it to the Russian company Sevmorneftegeofizika, and our ships Akademik Nemchinov and Akademik Shatsky spent the winter there. But then in January 2021, WilNor Governmental Services AS (WGS), which supports the Allied military operations, acquired a 66% stake in Olavsvern Group AS, and the Olavsvern base again became a NATO facility. According to the plans of the Alliance, by the beginning of this year, the underground shelter should have been restored for NATO submarines and ships to enter there.

There is no doubt that the British naval special forces returned there too. This is their traditional place of residence.

– Marine special forces – are they some kind of underwater swimmers? Do you think they could have committed sabotage on our gas pipeline? But how?

– Yes. These are combat swimmers on underwater scooters who can get out of a surface ship, dive, lay a mine, and then, sailing away, blow it up remotely. Or put some specific time at the time of the explosion.

It is possible that these could be underwater unmanned vehicles, similar to those found with explosives semi-submerged off the coast of Crimea.

Both Norway and the UK have such devices. These are both NATO countries. Norway, by the way, is Russia’s competitor in terms of gas supplies to Europe. The British and Norwegians have been testing these devices for more than a year. And now they not only test, but also produce. They are very well developed in this area.

– But what is the point of undermining gas pipelines?

– And the meaning of all this is very simple: Germany should not have any chance now, in the autumn-winter period, to start receiving Russian gas via Nord Stream.

– Can we somehow restore these pipes under water and start pumping gas again?

– Of course. All these holes that were formed due to the explosion, it is quite possible to patch up. We have Mir deep-sea submersibles, and we have divers who specialize in underwater welding. So these damages can be completely repaired. But the very fact of such a terrorist attack on the gas pipeline, of course, should be the subject of international investigation.

Whatever ultimately caused the problem with SP-1 and 2, it is already becoming clear that the situation on the European gas market is becoming even more complicated. Indeed, in the same Germany, despite the support of anti-Russian sanctions, they continued to “keep in mind” the opportunity “at the right time” to open the tap and start receiving gas through this pipeline from Russia. Now this option, apparently, is also swept aside for Germany and all of Europe …

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