Fox News host Tucker Carlson joined a suspicious internet chorus Tuesday in pointing the finger at the U.S. for the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines as a deep-sea, international mystery widened.
The two Russian-owned pipelines were damaged on the floor of the Baltic Sea Monday, and have been spewing natural gas up to the surface since. The pipelines were built to send natural gas from Russia to Europe and contained gas but were not operational. European experts agree that the damage was almost certainly intentionally inflicted and not due to seismic activity.
“This was an act of industrial terrorism,” the Fox News Channel star said Tuesday night, before pointing the finger at the Biden administration.
Tucker Carlson Discusses Nord Stream Pipeline Sabotage, Almost Certainly a U.S. Covert Action Against Russiahttps://t.co/U5iOFF4O2j
— TheLastRefuge (@TheLastRefuge2) September 28, 2022
Even though the pipelines had not been pumping due to sanctions imposed by the West after Russia invaded Ukraine, German protesters had been calling for the energy flow to resume. Disabling the pipelines would likely remove the possibility of Germany lifting the sanctions in time to import energy for the winter.
Russia shut off the 760-mile Nord Stream 1 pipeline during the war, while Germany blocked the parallel Nord Stream 2 from going online just before the invasion. Germany relied upon Russian natural gas for more than half of its gas imports before the invasion, and its economy has been severely crippled since the cutoff.
Some suspect Russia may have been behind the destruction of its own pipeline, possibly to raise gas prices, exert pressure on Ukraine’s western allies, or even to frame the U.S.
“Gas leak from NS-1 [Nord Stream 1] is nothing more than a terrorist attack planned by Russia and an act of aggression towards the EU. Russia wants to destabilize the economic situation in Europe and cause pre-winter panic,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhaylo Podolyak tweeted Tuesday.
German government spokesman Roderich Kiesewetter tweeted Tuesday night that Moscow was likely behind the undersea caper.
“It is likely that Russia is trying in this way, on the one hand, to stir up uncertainty among the European population and, on the other hand, to once again point out at the state level the possibility of an attack on critical infrastructure,” he wrote. “Such an act of sabotage would also fit with Russia’s state-terrorism and hybrid approach.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that sabotaging the Nord Stream pipelines served “no one’s interest.” The White House National Security Council said the U.S. would not “speculate on the cause.”
Fueling suspicion of U.S. involvement is a resurfaced video clip of a cryptic threat President Joe Biden made on February 7, as it became clear that Russia was preparing to invade Ukraine.
“If Russia invades, that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine again, there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2,” Biden said. “We will bring an end to it.”
When a reporter asked how that would happen given that the pipeline was a German project, a resolute Biden replied, “I promise you: We will be able to do it.”
The statement from Biden came a week after Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland made a similar vow.
“If Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward,” Nuland said on January 27.
On Tuesday, Polish member of European Parliament Radoslaw Sikorski seemed to blame – or credit – the U.S. for the apparent attack.
“Thank you, USA,” he tweeted, along with a picture that showed methane bubbling up from the ruptured pipelines to the Baltic Sea surface. Polish officials later rebuked Sikorsi for the “irresponsible” statement.
Carlson warned that destruction of Russian infrastructure by the U.S. would be a dangerous escalation in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has pitted Moscow against the West.
“If we actually blew up the Nord Stream pipelines, why wouldn’t Russia sever undersea internet cables?” Carlson wondered, noting that such a move could wreck the western banking system. “Have the people behind this, the geniuses like Toria Nuland, considered the effects? Maybe they have. Maybe that was the point.”