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Nord Stream emergency to complicate Russia-EU dialogue, US stands to gain — experts

It is stated that the gas pipeline incident will benefit everyone who wanted to prevent the return of Russian gas to Europe and Germany at any cost

MOSCOW, September 28. /TASS/. The latest incidents that occurred at the Nord Stream natural gas carrier earlier this week may play into the hands of the United States and other gas exporters, while the dialogue between Russia and the European Union will only get worse against this background, as follows from a brief poll of experts in the field of energy and international relations whom TASS interviewed on Wednesday.

According to the deputy general director for gas problems at the National Energy Security Fund, Alexey Grivach, the gas pipeline incident will benefit everyone who wanted to prevent the return of Russian gas to Europe and Germany at any cost.

"For example, to deprive the Germans of even the slightest theoretical chance to reach an agreement with Moscow and mitigate the energy crisis, which is likely to turn from bad to worse this winter. Also, such beneficiaries and the associated players are receiving and will continue to receive the main super profits from selling gas at extremely high prices," said Grivach, an expert of the Valdai international discussion club.

Gains for US and dialogue with EU

The board chairman of the Foundation for Support and Development of the Valdai international discussion club, Andrey Bystritsky, said that the United States, as well as a number of radical forces in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states, might benefit from this incident in purely economic terms.

The way he sees it, the gas pipeline emergency will not facilitate Russia's dialogue with the EU countries, either.

"It will take a long time to find out what really happened there. In the meantime, everyone will keep accusing each other of sabotage. The dialogue will become more complicated," Bystritsky explained.

The analyst drew attention to the fact that the EU energy security prospects against this background looked "bleak", for it is rather problematic to compensate for losses in the energy sector. Bystritsky also pointed out that the investigation of the incidents would be very lengthy and creating an impartial panel of inquiry for this would be "extremely difficult."

Right-wing radicals’ intervention

According to the general director of the Russian International Affairs Council, Andrey Kortunov, right-wing radical forces in Europe might have been behind this act of sabotage. The right-wingers, he recalled, turned more active lately against the backdrop of deteriorating relations with Russia. "I would not rule out this kind of sabotage," he said.

At the same time, Kortunov rejected charges by a number of Western journalists Russia itself might have staged this act of sabotage. "I think this is extremely unlikely. It is possible that Gazprom still believes the gas pipelines can be restored to capacity operation at some future date. What’s the point of damaging property?" he asked.

Kortunov believes that everyone who is ready to supply gas to the EU will benefit from this incident, especially since amid the shortage of energy resources, the Europeans’ demand for gas will soar.

Pipeline incidents

On Tuesday, Nord Stream AG reported "unprecedented damage" on three strings of the offshore gas pipelines of the Nord Stream system. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow was "extremely concerned about this news." He did not rule out that the disruption of the pipelines’ operation might have been a result of sabotage.

Later, Swedish seismologists said they had identified two explosions on the routes the Nord Stream pipelines on Monday. The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, classified these incidents as sabotage.

"Any deliberate disruption of European energy infrastructure is utterly unacceptable and will be met with a robust and united response," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell underlined in a statement.