Speculating on the broken tube.

Speculating on the broken tube.

There is clearly something disturbing about the sudden fracture of two on two pipes of the North Stream pipeline. Not because of the difficulty of the enterprise: comsubin can blow pipes just as well. The problem is to understand who did it, because depending on who did it, the political message is different.

Not knowing who did it, we can speculate. So I'll take three actors, the most likely ones, and try to speculate on the possible (geo) political meaning.

1 – It was the Russians.

What's the message? Well, to tell everyone that it is not so easy to get rid of them by buying gas from others, because the gas pipelines to the North Sea and those in the Mediterranean could also be blown up. A subtle mafia threat, but not that subtle.

It's a bit like shooting yourself in the balls to spite your wife, however: if someone can prove that it was them, and since the pipes are also German-owned, it could be said that the Russians are attacking European infrastructure. Article 5 stuff.

2- It was the USA.

In that case, the message would be twofold, one for Europe and one for the Russians themselves. The Russians are being afraid of blowing up gas pipelines on the border, wherever he is. If Putin uses theater nuclear weapons in Ukraine, all the gas pipelines in Ukraine will skip, and they can skip pipelines anywhere.

They are telling Putin “you don't decide if you sell gas to Europeans”.

BUT it would also be a message to Europeans, like “don't dream of retracing your steps and starting to buy gas from Russia again. If you buy gas from Russia, in reality, we decide it. And we will decide not to. "

On the other hand, it would also be a message to the Chinese: are you sure you want to build pipelines to move Russian gas?

3- It was the Germans.

Scholz's government is likely to be blackmailed. His party SPD has been doing and sponsoring business with Russia for the past 40 years, and given the rate of corruption in Russia, bribes have certainly flown. And just as surely the Russian secret services have the proof.

Blowing up the pipe means saying “hey, even if you drop the government, we won't buy gas anyway. And we are not as afraid of winter as you think.

It also means telling the US that "however our industry will continue to work, we are not terrified by the lack of gas."

It is difficult to understand which of the three hypotheses is correct. Everyone has very good reasons for doing what we see, and everyone has a message to send to others.

The problem is, if everyone has some convenience, there are also risks. In theory there are treaties that regulate those pipes, and as if that were not enough they are proprietary, for 50% of Russians, who could say "you have attacked us in all respects":

As a result, it's really hard to figure out who did it. But whoever did it, I think all the messages will hit the mark anyway.

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