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Top US diplomat welcomes Nord Stream sabotage as ‘tremendous opportunity’

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (AFP photo)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has expressed pleasure over the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, hailing it as a “tremendous opportunity” to repel European Union states from Russian energy resources amid the upcoming winter cold.

Boasting on Friday that the US is now “the leading supplier of [liquefied natural gas (LNG)] to Europe,” Blinken further emphasized during a press briefing in Washington that in addition to shipping its own fuel to Europe, the US is working with European leaders to find ways to “decrease demand” and “speed up the transition to renewables."

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to once and for all remove the dependence on Russian energy and thus to take away from [Russian President] Vladimir Putin the weaponization of energy as a means of advancing his imperial designs,” the top US diplomat went on to claim.

With winter approaching, Blinken also stressed that Washington wants the EU member nations to use less fuel as the US has been trying for years to convince EU leaders to swap Russian gas for its LNG.

“There’s a lot of hard work to do to make sure that countries and partners get through the winter,” Blinken added, suggesting that Europe should work hard to “reduce demand” for gas. 

The US likely stands to gain the most from the destruction of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, which were damaged by a series of explosions on the Danish island of Bornholm earlier this week.

The development came as Russian energy operator Gazprom announced earlier on Friday that the severity of damage to the undersea conduits now means that the bloc is “indefinitely deprived” of Russian gas via this route.

In a Friday speech, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin blamed the explosions on “the Anglo-Saxons,” a Russian colloquialism for the US-UK transatlantic alliance.

“It’s obvious to everyone who benefits from it,” Putin pointed out. “Those who benefit are the ones who have done it.”

While the way is now open for the US to sell its more expensive LNG to Europe, the shortfall cannot be covered overnight. US exporters warned throughout the summer that they will not be able to ship enough gas to meet the massive demand across the continent, and many of Europe’s import terminals are still under construction or in planning. 

Energy bills, meanwhile, are skyrocketing across Europe, particularly in Germany, which faces the prospect of rapid “deindustrialization,” as protesters took to the streets to demand the re-opening of Nord Stream 2 just days before the explosions.

Moreover, food shortages are also anticipated in Germany and firewood remains in hot demand across the continent as citizens struggle to heat their homes.


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