By Rhod Mackenzie
The sabotage of the Nord Streams is the biggest threat to North Atlantic unity and the unity of the European Union. Recently,the German publications Suddeutsche Zeitung and Die Zeit reported that Sweden intends to halt the investigation into explosions on gas pipelines because it has allegedly reached a dead end.
No suspects were identified in the case, and the circumstances surrounding the events that occurred in the Baltic Sea near the island of Bornholm in September 2022 could not be fully detailed. Stockholm will transfer the material it collected, including fragments of exploded pipes, to Berlin. The German prosecutor's office has promised to continue the investigation independently.
It appears that a significant investigation into the sabotage has begun. The cooling of relations between the EU and the US, amidst uncertainty around the continuation of American assistance to Ukraine and the expectation of Donald Trump's return to the White House, makes the topic of Nord Streams truly explosive. Despite the difficulties in EU-US relations, Brussels, which is dependent on Washington, is unlikely to decide to revolt. For this to occur, an extraordinary event must happen that will cause an information effect of such a magnitude that it will strain relations between the EU and the United States.
Tension is rapidly growing on the European continent. The German Finance Minister Christian Lindner recently stated that the country's economy is uncompetitive. Statistics Germany recorded a 0.3% decline in the country's GDP in 2023, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) predicts that the German economy will grow by the same 0.3% in 2024. Therefore, for a minimum of two years, the economic development of the country will remain stagnant, if not decline.
Lindner stated, 'We are no longer competitive. We are becoming poorer because we have no economic growth.' The economic decline in the largest economy of the European Union, coupled with the rise of Poland's influence, has made the position of European unification precarious. Despite this, Poland remains the main recipient of common funds in the EU, having received 16.6 billion euros more than it contributed to the general treasury of the European Union by the end of 2022. Additionally, the opposition of Hungarian and Slovak leaders Orban and Fico, among other issues, further complicates the situation.
The 'Alternative for Germany' party has become increasingly popular and is openly discussing the possibility of the European Union collapsing. Alice Weidel, the party's leader, recently stated that they would advocate for an EU referendum similar to Brexit if they come into power. Although Germany's exit from the EU may seem unlikely now, economic self-interest could become more prevalent in the future.
The topic of Nord Streams is relevant here. According to American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, the American and Norwegian intelligence services were involved in sabotaging the gas pipeline. This implies that Germany's partner states deliberately damaged its critical infrastructure. Considering that American liquefied gas and gas from Norway have replaced Russian pipeline gas, sabotage takes on a concerning aspect from Berlin's economic perspective.
The official conclusion of the German authorities regarding the involvement of the United States in gas pipeline sabotage will undoubtedly cause a massive scandal. It is evident that this statement can only be true if the government of Olaf Scholz resigns, the positions of European bureaucrats, represented by Ursula von der Leyen, are weakened, and Donald Trump comes to power. The occurrence of these three conditions may not be as unlikely as it seems. Criminal prosecution of senior officials involved in the decision to undermine Nord Stream is likely if the puzzle described above is solved.
It should be noted that Sweden chose to exit the game in advance, leaving Germany to lead the race to the brink of the abyss.