Former President Donald Trump on Sept. 28 offered to step in to negotiate a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine, citing the damage done to the Nord Stream I and II gas pipelines, reportedly via sabotage.
“The Nord Stream I & II Pipelines out of Russia (which I brought to the World’s attention as President when I explained how crippling reliance on it could be for Germany and other parts of Europe. Everybody laughed at the time, but they are not laughing anymore!) has been SABOTAGED.” Trump wrote on Truth Social. He argued that the incident “could lead to major escalation, or War,” between the United States, Russia, and the rest of Europe.
“U.S. ‘Leadership’ should remain “cool, calm, and dry” on the SABOTAGE of the Nord Stream Pipelines,” he continued in a followup post. “This is a big event that should not entail a big solution, at least not yet. The Russia/Ukraine catastrophe should NEVER have happened, and would definitely not have happened if I were President. Do not make matters worse with the pipeline blowup. Be strategic, be smart (brilliant!), get a negotiated deal done NOW. Both sides need and want it. The entire World is at stake. I will head up group???”
Trump told podcast host John Catsimatidis during a Sept. 27 interview that “we could end up in World War III and it could be all of the horrible things that took place in Ukraine.”
“I think we’re at the most dangerous time maybe in, in many, many years — maybe ever — because of the power of nuclear,” Trump said.
European officials suggested that the pipelines were damaged on Sept. 26 via deliberate sabotage from an as-yet unknown source. Some were quick to blame Moscow, but Russia jointly operated Nord Stream I with Germany for years, and Dmitry Peskov, a top Kremlin spokesman, dismissed the claim on Sept. 28. The damage, he said, is a “big problem” for Russia because “gas is very expensive.”
“Firstly, both lines of Nord Stream … are filled with gas. The entire system is ready to pump gas and the gas is very expensive … now the gas is flying off into the air,” Peskov told Reuters. “Are we interested in that? No, we are not, we have lost a route for gas supplies to Europe.”
Russia, which slashed gas deliveries to Europe after the West sanctioned them over President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, also said sabotage was possible. Their embassy in Denmark said any sabotage on the pipelines was an attack on both Russia and Europe’s energy security.
The United Nations Security Council will convene on Sept. 30 at Russia’s request to discuss the damage to the pipelines, said the French U.N. mission, which holds the presidency of the 15-member council for September, in a statement.
“Any deliberate disruption of European energy infrastructure is utterly unacceptable and will be met with a robust and united response,” European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.
Seismologists in Denmark and Sweden reported that explosions were the likely cause of the damage to the underwater pipelines, ruling out natural causes.
Bjorn Lund, director of the Swedish National Seismic Network at Uppsala University, told NPR on Sept. 27 that it’s “very clear from the seismic record that these are blasts.”
“These are not earthquakes,” he added. “They are not landslides underwater.” In an interview with Swedish television, Lund said he has “no doubt that these were explosions.”
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