05Oct22. The Moscow, expert (red shirt above) was introduced as x-Russian-diplomat Mr. Kirill Semyonov (AKA Semonov). i find he is at the Russian International Affairs Council. The high-level Valdai Club lists him as
Head of the Islamic Studies Center at the Innovation Development Institute and expert on Russian International Affairs Council. His twitter is @IbnRasibi (as Semenov).
The discussion goes a bit slowly on the English audio (three languages were being translated ); but important points were debated.
My points included the legitimacy for Dutch and Swedish authorities to limit access to the explosion scene, as one would for crime scene. Indeed, it is legitimate to keep Russian personnel away as their country is widely suspected for this sabotage. If the Russian side and others suspect the USA for this act, then it is reasonable if Sweden and/or Denmark bar USA personnel from the scene. The investigation is legitimately Denmark and Sweden’s.to control.
I explained two motives for the Kremlin to perpetuate this act.
One has to do with manufacturing a de facto “force majeure” or a so-called “act of God” so that it is simply impossible for Russia’s Gazprom to send gas to Europe and thereby fulfill the many contracts Gazprom has to deliver gas. If arbitration tribunals and European courts were to accept this excuse, it would absolve Gazprom of paying tens-of-billions of Europe in penalties to European companies who contracted gas deliveries and are now suffering economic harm and in many cases are going bankrupt because of Gazprom’s non-delivery.
Another motive is revealed in the strange fact (as far as I can ascertain from press and other reports so far) that whoever blew up the pipelines, each of which are composed of two smaller pipeline strings, for some reason blew up both of the two NS1 pipes, but only one of the two NS1 sub-pipes. Who would have the motivation to blow up only three pipes of the four, besides Gazprom?
To explain: Gazprom had already stopped sending gas via NS1, so cutting both of its strings has had no immediate effect on Gazprom’s deliveries. However, Gazprom and the kremlin have long wanted to get NS2 certified, which would cause division among the Europeans and with the USA. Germany and the USA agreed this pipe should not be commissioned when it was finished if Putin weaponized gas deliveries to Europe or attacked Ukraine.. When Putin invaded Ukraine, they agreed this was reason to block the certification of NS2 for good.
Now, if Europe wants any Russian gas delivered via the Baltic Sea as it gets colder and gas prices go ever higher, the only way it could be would be via the one undamaged NS2 string. Indeed, right on schedule, Alexander Novak, the vice prime minister of Russia has demanded exactly that!
I said in the debate that this shows a second motive for the Russians to blow up three of four pipes and leave one NS2 string operative.
The Russian side is hoping they can break EU solidarity and cause a political crisis of Germany with Washington by making NS2 the only way for Russian gas to flow into Europe this winter.
There’s more. I’m very interested to know your comments or critiques on this brief debate..
Best, Tom O’D..