‘No Conclusive Evidence Russia Is Behind Nord Stream Attack’: WaPo

In September 2021, there were explosions on the Nord Stream undersea natural gas pipelines, which carry natural gas from Russia to Europe.

The explosions caused significant damage and resulted in one of the largest-ever releases of methane gas.

World leaders quickly blamed Russia for the attack, with some accusing Moscow of attempting to threaten countries into withdrawing their support for Ukraine.

However, after months of investigation, The Washington Post (WaPo) has found that several officials from multiple countries have now said that there is no conclusive evidence that Russia was behind the attack.

According to one European official, “there is no evidence at this point that Russia was behind the sabotage,” which is the same assessment 23 diplomatic and intelligence officials in nine countries interviewed in recent weeks have also concluded.

The damage to the pipelines is believed to have been a deliberate attack by a “state-level actor,” with explosives appearing to have been placed on the outside of the structures. “We know that this amount of explosives has to be a state-level actor,” Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said in a recent interview. “It’s not just a single fisherman who decides to put the bomb there. It’s very professional.”

However, despite extensive forensic analysis, investigators have not yet been able to conclusively link Russia to the attack. “Forensics on an investigation like this are going to be exceedingly difficult,” said a senior U.S. State Department official. The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

WaPo even mentioned that some officials have expressed regret that many world leaders immediately blamed Russia without considering other countries or extremist groups that might have had the capability and motive to carry out the attack. “The governments that waited to comment before drawing conclusions played this right,” said one European official.

And as the investigation continued, skeptics pointed out how little Moscow benefited from damaging pipelines that fed Western Europe natural gas from Russia, a process generating billions of dollars in annual revenue. The Nord Stream projects yoked Germany and other European countries to Russian energy sources, as WaPo points out. “The rationale that it was Russia [that attacked the pipelines] never made sense to me,” said one Western European official.