Russia’s Gazprom said Monday that it could potentially ship gas to Europe via an undamaged line on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which has never made deliveries after Berlin paused the project around the time Russia invaded Ukraine.
Both Nord Stream pipelines came under attack last week, and explosions caused major leaks that Gazprom said had stopped by Monday. Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 each have a pair of lines, and Gazprom said that both lines of Nord Stream 1 were damaged.
But the Russian state gas company said that the Nord Stream 2’s line “B” was not damaged and that it would prepare to deliver gas through it if a decision in that regard was made.
“If a decision is made to start deliveries through Nord Stream 2’s line B, natural gas will be pumped into the pipeline after the integrity of the system has been checked and verified by supervisory authorities,” Gazprom said.
Receiving gas through the undamaged line of Nord Stream 2 could give Germany and other European countries some relief from the energy crisis. But the move would likely not be approved by the EU as it is preparing new sanctions on Russia despite the soaring energy prices that Europeans are facing.
The US has long opposed Nord Stream 2 and tried to stop the pipeline’s construction with sanctions. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the Nord Stream explosions provide a “tremendous opportunity” to wean Europe off Russian gas.
At this point, there’s no evidence that the US was involved in the Nord Stream sabotage, but there are reasons to suspect Washington as it certainly has the motive. Before Russia invaded Ukraine, Biden vowed to put an end to Nord Stream 2, and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland made a similar threat.