Mika Aaltola, director of the Foreign Policy Institute, says that even the intelligence circles do not agree on the detonators of the gas pipelines. The list of those suspected of sabotage expanded last week.
The Nord Stream gas pipeline bombers may remain a secret forever.
In Europe, the most likely culprit has been considered to be a state actor, and thus Russia. In light of the latest information, the culprit behind the attacks may be a private party, says the director of the Foreign Policy Institute Mika Aaltola.
– Clearly, the intelligence circles do not agree on the gas pipeline detonator. Even the intelligence agencies of the United States have not reached a common vision, Aaltola explains.
Aaltola is a guest on Ykkösaamu’s live broadcast from 10:05 am. You can watch the broadcast on TV1, radio 1 and Areena.
A pro-Ukrainian group?
The gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2 were blown up at the end of September last year. In the end, gas leaks were found in four different places in the territorial waters of Sweden and Denmark near the island of Bornholm. The pipelines had brought gas from Russia to Germany before Russia had started to brake the transports.
On Tuesday, both the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit and the American newspaper The New York Times reported on new suspects. According to Die Zeit, German police believed they had identified the boat used in the attacks. The renters used fake Ukrainian passports and rented the boat in the name of a Polish company.
According to the New York Times, a pro-Ukraine group opposed to Vladimir Putin was behind the attacks.
There are abilities to attack
Mika Aaltola says that more parties would have been interested in the actions.
Russia could have used strikes to show the West how vulnerable its undersea connections are, despite the fact that it would have cut off its own connections to the West at the same time. Ukraine has approached gas pipelines with great reservations.
The act requires an opportunity, ability and motive, Aaltola reminds.
– Motives can be found in many directions, but there are also abilities. It is now being investigated who was there and how.
According to Die Zeit, the boat identified by the German police left the sea from the port of Rostock three weeks before the explosions. There was a captain, two divers, two diving assistants and a doctor in the boat.
Aaltola says that tracking the perpetrators in sea areas is almost as difficult as in cyberspace.
– There is no transparency in the activities of the submarine, says Aaltola.
Many have an interest in keeping quiet
From the beginning, Russia has denied being guilty of gas pipeline sabotage and, on the contrary, has blamed the West. In addition, Russia complained when it did not get to join the international team investigating the sabotage, which had members from Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
Mika Aaltola reminds that information warfare is also underway. It can be in almost everyone’s interests to remain silent about the guilty. If the perpetrator was Russia, reporting on its capabilities may increase deterrence in the West. Successful sabotage carried out by Ukraine could again encourage Ukrainians and its allies.
– Perhaps it would be easiest for everyone if the act remains a mystery.
From the newspaper information revealed so far, we can only conclude with certainty that the role of private and semi-state actors should also be investigated in the investigation of sabotage. Such parties may have their own financial or political interests to protect.
A well-timed leak can only confuse the investigation.
– It may be that this is exactly what the leak aims to do, to prevent final and accurate attribution. On the other hand, it could be that there are actors in the war that we haven’t thought of yet, says Aaltola.