New reports indicate that someone may have tried to damage Russia’s Nord Stream pipeline, possibly using an underwater drone. This pipeline is critical to gas in Russia and in other countries as well. Destroying it would have been extremely detrimental to Russian trade.
Recently, an unmanned underwater military vehicle that was equipped with explosive devices was spotted near the pipeline in the Baltic Sea. The underwater drone was originally spotted by the Swedish Navy during routine surveillance. Plans to disarm the device are already underway.
It is unknown as to who supplied the underwater drone. Some have speculated that it might have been Turkey. Despite the fact that Turkey and Russia have deep trade relations, tension has been growing between the two countries because of the conflict in Syria.
Russia has been working to keep Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power, while Turkey has been one of many countries trying to bring him down. Additionally, Russia has bombed militants in the conflict that have been supported by Turkey, and Turkey has allegedly tried to shoot down Russian drones.
However, it is still unlikely that Turkey would have tried to destroy the pipeline because it is very dependent on Russian gas. Also, most political experts believe that the tensions between Russia and Turkey haven’t reached a boiling point yet to where Turkey would attempt something so drastic. Still, the pipeline does give Russia some leverage over Turkey, a fact that Turkey certainly cannot be too comfortable with.
Meanwhile, no country has yet to step up and take claim of the drone. Other possible operators of the drone include Ukraine and Slovakia, who have both been somewhat threatened by the expansion of the pipeline.
It hasn’t been proven that the drone was being used to attack the pipeline, but it certainly looks suspicious. Russia has been known to make some enemies, so really anything is possible.