Did the US blow up Nord Stream?

US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has added a new angle to the ongoing investigation into the attacks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines. According to his research, the US military blew up the pipelines and Norway knew about it. On his blog, Hersh cites a single anonymous source. The US government has denied the allegations. Europe’s press discusses their plausibility.

Handelsblatt (DE) /

Not very plausible

Hersh’s Nord Stream blog post does not merit all this fuss, Handelsblatt finds:

“Hersh constructs a conspiracy without asking the right questions. The most important one is: why? The German-Russian natural gas partnership was history when the pipes burst at the bottom of the sea. The German government had stopped the commissioning of Nord Stream 2 after Russia’s attack on Ukraine and announced that it would no longer import Russian gas. This meant that Nord Stream 1 no longer had a future either. Why should the Americans blow up an investment ruin — and risk a rift with Germany for the sake of a failed energy project? To sell liquefied gas to the EU? The corresponding contracts had been concluded long before September 2022.”

Moritz Koch
Český rozhlas (CZ) /

Shrouded in mystery

Radio commentator Jan Fingerland also voices doubts on Český rozhlas:

“If someone without Seymour Hersh’s illustrious past had written the article it would not be worth the slightest reaction. Everything in this war, and others like it, remains nebulous. The media is flooded not only with misleading statements by the warring parties but also by emotionally involved journalists and more or less qualified military experts who comment on tactics from afar without even knowing how many soldiers are on the ground. Of course, I don’t know who destroyed Nord Stream 1 and 2. But there is reason to believe that my experienced colleague Hersh does not know either.”

Jan Fingerland
Magyar Nemzet (HU) /

Political and financial interests

The pro-government Magyar Nemzet, on the other hand, argues that the US does indeed have motives:

“The Pulitzer Prize winner could of course be mistaken, as could his sources — or they may even be deliberately making false claims. However, it does not seem particularly likely that at the age of 85 this journalist would want to destroy his reputation with a huge newspaper hoax. ... Irrespective of what happened with Nord Stream: the US has a geopolitical interest in separating Germany from Russia and at the same time ending Germany’s energy dependence on Russia. There are also financial interests: ... The US shale gas sector, which was previously making losses, made a profit of 200 billion US dollars last year thanks to high energy prices.”

László Szőcs
Libertatea (RO) /

Don’t fall for the war rhetoric

Because war encourages black and white thinking, we should at least consider unpalatable theses too, Costi Rogozanu urges in Libertatea:

“It’s up to you to decide whether you believe Hersh or not. For some, he may be just an old man causing silly problems. [Such people may think:] We stand by the Americans, they defend us and that’s that. ... I prefer to believe Hersh and truths that make our lives more complicated. ... If we ignore such warning cries, the propagandist-military edifice will come crashing down on us without us having revolted at all. Hersh is a breath of fresh air in a world where war is also spreading to the field of information.”

Costi Rogozanu