Explosions at Nord Stream gas pipelines signal escalation to 'hybrid war' as Russia weaponizes energy, analyst says




Nord Stream 2 pipeline in Lubmin, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania; Vladimir Putin
Nord Stream 2 pipeline in Lubmin, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania; Vladimir Putin  
  • The Nord Stream pipeline explosions are a major escalation of the energy crisis, according to analyst Simone Tagliapietra.

  • "Today, Russia brought its energy weaponisation against Europe to the next level: from economic to hybrid war," tweeted the senior fellow at the think tank Bruegel.

  • The EU called the explosions a "deliberate act," and NATO pointed to sabotage.

Explosions at Nord Stream gas pipelines mark a major escalation in the European energy crisis stemming from Russia's invasion of Ukraine, according to analyst Simone Tagliapietra. 

A senior fellow at the Brussels-based think tank Bruegel, he tweeted on Tuesday that "Russia brought its energy weaponisation against Europe to the next level: from economic to hybrid war. Need to adjust our response and preparedness accordingly."

The explosions occurred on the same day that a separate gas pipeline from Norway to Poland that flows in the same vicinity of the Nord Stream pipelines officially opened.

Tagliapietra also tweeted that security and surveillance of key infrastructure across Europe should be reinforced.

"If what we have seen today happens at any of our pipelines from Norway or Algeria during the winter, we are in real trouble," he warned.

The EU called the explosions a "deliberate act," and NATO pointed to sabotage. Both Norway and Denmark have increased security measures surrounding their oil and gas infrastructure.

The US is supporting efforts to investigate the "apparent sabotage" of the Nord Stream pipelines, a national security advisor said, while two senior German lawmakers have pointed the finger at Russia.

The US Central Intelligence Agency warned Germany weeks ago about potential attacks on Nord Stream, German magazine Der Spiegel reported Tuesday.

While the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 are shuttered and not delivering gas to Europe, European natural gas futures jumped 11% Wednesday as investors assessed the new risks to pipelines. Russia's Gazprom also threatened to shut down a gas pipeline that runs through Ukraine, which is the last one that still serves Western Europe.

Europe is contending with an energy crisis in response to a major gas crunch as Russia's war on Ukraine continues. The Kremlin has halted flows to a swath of countries and has threatened to cut off more if countries join in on Western sanctions and penalties in response to Moscow's war.

 

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