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Nord Stream Pipeline

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Nord Stream Pipeline

Why in news :

  • US intelligence officials believe a pro-Ukrainian saboteur group may have been behind the bombing of the Nord Stream gas pipelines last year, according to The New York Times.

What are the Nord Stream pipelines?

  • Nord Stream 1 and 2 are undersea gas pipelines, built to transport cheap Russian natural gas to European countries.

  • While Nord Stream 2 never became operational because of tensions over Ukraine, Nord Stream 1 was a key artery for the supply of Russian energy to Europe.
  • Over the course of a decade, Nord Stream 1 supplied a third of the EU’s gas imports from Russia.
  • However, after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia began cutting supplies. In the midst of these tensions, a series of underwater explosions in September damaged both Nord Stream pipelines and caused gas leaks.

What was the economic impact?

  • There was no immediate disruption to energy flows from Russia to Europe.
  • While many feared the disruption of energy flows would devastate European economies, countries had used Russian gas in the months prior to the bombing to fill their gas reserves.
  • An unusually warm winter also reduced Europe’s need for energy and staved off disaster.

What are the theories doing the rounds?

  • Some analysts argue Moscow may be behind it in order to scare Western buyers who have taken to building new pipelines.
  • Others said Western powers had a strong incentive to sabotage given how the pipelines made Europe dependent on Russia.
  • Pulitzer prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh published a report accusing the US of carrying out the bombing with assistance from European allies.
  • Now, The New York Times says US spy agencies suspect pro-Ukrainian groups to have carried out the bombings.

Syllabus : Prelims + Mains; GS2 – International Affairs

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