New Polish Chapter in CIA’s Nord Stream Cover Story Signals Growing US-EU Split
16:45 GMT 08.01.2024 (Updated: 16:49 GMT 08.01.2024)
European investigators probing the September 2022 attack on the Nord Stream pipeline network have told US business media that Polish officials have refused to cooperate with an international investigation into the incident. But the report is just another attempt to divert attention from Washington’s role in the blasts, a Russian observer says.
Polish officials have dragged their feet in providing any useful info related to the movement of individuals suspected of plotting and carrying out the 2022 attack on the Nord Stream pipeline network and have generally refused to cooperate, the Wall Street Journal reported
on Monday, citing unnamed ‘European investigators’ looking into the case.
Some European officials are reportedly considering appealing directly to the office of newly elected Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk for help in investigating the sabotage attack, with investigators expressing “suspicions” over Warsaw’s “role and motives” amid the lack of cooperation from the previous government.
The new ‘Polish chapter’ in the CIA-inspired cover story diverting attention from evidence
of the US’s central role in the Nord Stream attack comes after more than a year of meticulous attempts to pin the blame on Ukrainians – first in the form of a shadowy amateur group of operatives without connections to any governments, and then to claims that the sabotage was coordinated by Ukrainian special operations colonel Roman Chervinsky, who is now conveniently rotting in a Kiev jail.
The narrative, crafted by US and German media after revelations last year by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh that US Navy divers planted explosives on the pipelines under the cover of a NATO drill, claimed that the Ukrainian operatives rented a yacht from a Poland-based, Ukrainian-owned company and proceeded to place explosives on the pipeline infrastructure – situated some 80 and 110 meters underwater in the Baltic Sea.
New Narrative to Distract From Mounting EU-US Tensions
Speaking to Sputnik and asked to comment on why the WSJ piece was published now, Russian political analyst Peter Kolchin explained that it’s designed to reinforce the US narrative about foreign actors’ involvement in the Nord Stream attack, particularly as Europe continues to face the economic consequences resulting from the unprecedented act of sabotage against another NATO country’s infrastructure.
“The United States is currently suffering one diplomatic defeat after another. In the face of problems in the Middle East, in the face of a defeat in Ukraine, it’s very important for Washington to consolidate the entire NATO bloc,” the observer explained. The attack on Nord Stream “is a very difficult topic for the bloc, because factually, the destruction of this infrastructure significantly weakened Europe’s economic capabilities and left it dependent on the US energy sector. Now, Europe is forced to buy American gas and to incur huge costs because of it,” Kolchin noted.
How huge? According to a recent Sputnik review
of Eurostat data, EU countries have had to pay some €185 billion ($202 billion US) extra on natural gas over the past 20 months after being cut off – by choice or by force, from cheap Russian pipeline gas. Between early 2022 and late 2023, the bloc spent more on natural gas purchases than it did over the entire eight-year period between 2013 and 2021.
6 December 2023, 06:44 GMT
Consisting of four pipelines stretching from Russia to northeastern Germany along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, Nord Stream singlehandedly had the capability to provide Europe with up to 110 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year, equivalent to more than a quarter of the bloc’s 412 bcm consumption in 2021. The September 2022 attack on the infrastructure, combined with Polish and Ukrainian moves to close the taps to Russian gas, have left TurkStream and ship-based LPG the only means for Russian gas to get to EU countries.
The Nord Stream “problem” isn’t going anywhere, Kolchin believes. “Both in Europe and the United States, the mainstream publications and politicians are asking questions about it.” Therefore, “it’s important for Washington to give the public some more or less plausible scenario” regarding the attack.
“Of course, for many months now Washington has been attempting to shift all responsibility onto Ukraine. Here, the appearance of publications in US media adding credibility to a role played by Warsaw is only part of this big campaign. The United States is trying to shift responsibility from itself onto others, in this case Warsaw,” the observer said.
“Poland, which no longer enjoys agency, cannot oppose the will of the United States, and is being forced to accept what Washington is trying to pin on them,” even if in reality, “it has been noted more than once and at the highest levels that the involvement of the United States in the terrorist attack on Nord Stream is obvious,” Kolchin said.
22 December 2023, 20:35 GMT
President Putin commented
on Washington’s suspected role in the Nord Stream attack at his year-end press conference last month, dismissing
European complaints about Russia ‘turning off the taps’ of energy supplies to the region by pointing out that “it wasn’t us that blew up…Nord Stream,” but “most likely the US, or someone at their suggestion.”
Nevertheless, Washington will continue to push its policy line on the Nord Stream incident, regardless of what the evidence, and elementary logic, say, Kolchin believes.
America’s “methodical” approach is particularly important in light of growing splits in the North Atlantic alliance as Washington continues to ride roughshod over Europe’s basic interests, the observer noted.
“Let’s be honest, it’s difficult in principle to speak of any kind of trust within the alliance. And this is largely connected with the Nord Stream events. European countries understand who is responsible, but have very reluctantly been forced to swallow this harsh reality,” the observer summed up.