Russia Likely Won’t Repair The Nord Stream Pipeline

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Russia has no plans to repair the Nord Stream gas pipelines, formerly a major source of Russian oil in Europe, which was rendered unusable following an as-yet unexplained act of sabotage, Reuters reported Thursday, citing sources familiar with the country’s plans.

While Russia’s state-owned oil firm Gazprom is capable of repairing the line, the project has been “buried” as a result of ongoing tensions with the West, Reuters reported, citing a pair of sources familiar with the situation. The firm is likely to reseal the undersea pipelines so that they can be preserved for potential future use.

Three of the four pipelines that comprise Nord Stream were rendered unusable by explosives in September, and a Russian proposal to continue use of the undamaged line was rejected by Germany, according Reuters. While investigations into the sabotage are ongoing in Germany, Sweden and Denmark, Swedish authorities discovered explosive materials at the site of the leaks in November, and Finnish Foreign Minister said in December that the sabotage could only have been performed by a “state-level actor.”

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The sabotage came amid a European energy crisis, brought on by a substantial cutback in the continent’s consumption of Russian oil after Russia restricted deliveries through the Nord Stream pipeline. Gas consumption in Europe dropped by more than 19%, with a mild winter helping ease demand for gas, Reuters reported.

While several officials in the West made public statements alleging that Russia was responsible for the attack, the Western intelligence community has reportedly failed to find conclusive evidence that Russia was responsible for the attack, The Washington Post reported, citing interviews with nearly two dozen diplomats and intelligence operatives from nine countries. Conversely, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Segei Ryabkov said in early February that a report from American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh alleging that the Biden administration was responsible for the sabotage was “not surprising” and that Russia assumed that “the U.S. and several NATO allies were involved in this disgusting crime,” according to Bloomberg; many other news outlets have cast doubt on Hersh’s account.

Reuters noted that its report was “produced in Russia, where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine.”

Gazprom did not immediately respond to a Daily Caller News Foundation request for comment.

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