Turkish retired admirals evaluate the risk of sabotage on the TurkStream pipeline

Turkish retired admirals evaluate the risk of sabotage on the TurkStream pipeline

By Kutalmis Gurbuz *

As a result of the explosions, the Nord Stream 1&2 pipelines that stretch all the way from Russia to Germany got out of service permanently.

Both Russia and the European governments announced that sabotages had occurred on the pipelines.

The pipelines, construction cost more than 10 billion Euros each, were damaged seriously. German officials stated that the total scale of damage was still in investigated. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline had never entered into active service due to the immense pressure from the US over the German government.

It was discovered after the sabotage that the US 6th Fleet had conducted mine-laying and minesweeping exercises in the region during June. And the President Joe Biden’s remarks of “If Russia invades Ukraine, we will bring an end to the Nord Stream 2” were brought back from the records.

And when all eyes were on the Nord Stream, former Pentagon official Michael Rubin targeted TurkStream pipeline.

“Biden should kill the TurkStream” said Rubin, arguing that the United States should bring more support for the EastMed pipeline, a Israel-Greek Cypriot-Greece joint project.

After these statements from Michael Rubin, who had also predestined the July 15th 2016 FETO coup attempt 4 months beforehand, Odatv website interviewed the former Rear Admirals Semih Cetin and Deniz Kutluk, about the possibility of such a sabotage against the TurkStream.

“There is no such plans if Michael Rubin speaks openly about them”

Retired Rear Admiral Semih Cetin has answered Odatv’s questions about the risk of sabotage against the TurkStream, Michael Rubin’s statements, and about the sabotage of Nord Stream. Çetin stated:

“Michael Rubin is an individual very close to the US government. He used to frequently visit Türkiye, he was quite well known over here. All of a sudden, he became an adversary of Türkiye. I think if Michael Rubin speaks about this openly, then the United States has no intention of committing such sabotage. Had they had the intentions, Rubin would not speak about it so openly.

However, there are many countries with such high military and technological capabilities. If a country with these capabilities plans to sabotage TurkStream, then the sabotage becomes possible.”

Pipelines are frail targets

Surveillance and patrol platforms can be established over the sea to protect the pipelines 24/7. But that is still not enough eliminate the risk of sabotage completely. Protecting these pipelines is not an easy thing in today’s world. Pipelines are frail targets and constantly vulnerable to sabotages.

The pipeline stretches too long and the slightest damage it at any point will render the entire pipeline ineffective. And by the time it is repaired, another sabotage could be done elsewhere.

Our best defense is diplomacy

If a major war breaks out, sabotages on these pipelines will be inevitable. Just as the bridges were razed down and water supplies poisoned in medieval times, pipelines are very important in the current energy age we live in. Disrupting and putting pipelines out of service would crush the national will and determination to continue the war.

So, the best way to defend these pipelines is to secure them through political and diplomatic means.

Luckily Türkiye’s access to the energy resources cannot be blocked easily. We import all our energy sources from our closest neighbors: Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan. Türkiye will surely find a way to transport these resources.

The US has warned European countries to ‘reduce their energy dependence on Russia’. Even if they manage to reduce this dependency, it is still hard to find alternatives. Exploiting the gas field in the Eastern Mediterranean is an important point to focus. The best route for the transfer of the gas would be again Türkiye.

In terms of costs, the cheapest transport route goes via Türkiye. This is as simple as one plus one equals two, and no one can change that. Constructing the pipeline via Greece would cost too much and would simply be an irrational thing to do. Such gas and oil alternatives would cost too much, and therefore cannot compete with Russian prices. That project would never be realized.

Who is really behind this sabotage?

The actor that actually sabotaged Nord Stream pipelines has covered itself perfectly and is not easy to detect.

The sabotage of Nord Stream is most likely done by a country that has been constantly telling the European Union to ‘reduce their dependences on Russia, and not buy natural gas or oil’. And that country is no other than the United States of America. Biden has already threatened that before. The primary suspect here is the United States.

Michel Rubin might have gone haywire

After the sabotage of Nord Stream, retired Rear Admiral Deniz Kutluk has commented on the security of the pipelines, the current situation of the TurkStream and Michael Rubin’s statements to Odatv:

“I think Michael Rubin may have gone a little haywire, speaking nonsense. First of all, he should have known that various control mechanisms would be established against the intrusion of such saboteur groups into the Black Sea.

Moreover, pipelines in the Black Sea do not pass 70 meters below the sea level like the Nord Stream. The pipelines in the Black Sea are constructed much deeper. They can pass as deep as 2 kilometers under the sea level.

Michael Rubin does not represent the Pentagon as much as it is being rumored around here in Türkiye. He is mostly inconsistent with his own words, while being a pro-Zionist and having close ties to the conservatives. He is also a member of an American right-wing think tank.

A confession of who sabotaged the Nord Stream

But this statement is still a confession of who the real Nord Stream saboteurs are. The usual suspects were already reduced down to the US, the UK and Poland. And now, with Rubin’s statement, it has now become clear that it was the US. So, it turned out that the US State Department’s remarks of “We did not do it, we also condemned it” were not able to go much further than that.

The gas leakage due to sabotage was stopped within three days. Those who use this technology also know how to repair it. The possibility of a 3-day leak in the TurkStream would hurt nobody.

Removing the broken pipelines or laying the new ones is also not a tremendous effort. Broken parts of a pipeline can be dismantled, and the necessary replacements and repairs can be made with the appropriate equipment.

Germany bowed down to American ultimatums

The operation license for Nord Stream 2 has always had its own troubles. Germany had decided not to put Nord Stream 2 in operation in the beginning of this year. Thus, Germany bowed down to the ultimatums of the United States. Germany went under a total pressure from the US.

Merkel was somewhat experienced and knew how to deal with the US, but Olaf Scholz has recently become the chancellor. And when the US pressed on this issue, he complied with their demands. But this was not in the interests of Europe or Germany.

Now, as a response, Germany is taking steps against the Paris Climate Agreement. They are now reopening their coal thermal power plants or nuclear power plants, increasing their carbon emissions. Why would that be? Because the US did not want them to buy gas from Russia.

The US works in double standards

Why would the US want this? That is because if Russia cannot sell its own gas, Europe will have to buy the American LNG.

On one hand they advocate globalization, elimination of customs, reduction of taxes and a free market; and on the other hand, they give ultimatums to countries and force them to buy their gas and consumer goods. This shows the inconsistency and hypocrisy of the US.

No need for the Navy, the Coast Guard can handle it

If there is a risk of sabotage, it is quite possible to protect the TurkStream pipeline. First of all, it is impossible to deploy a submarine to the Black Sea for any country that does not have a coastline to the Black Sea.

And any interventions on the surface can already be prevented with a coast guard cooperation agreement among the Black Sea countries. The information of every single ship that enters or leaves the Black Sea is shared and reported among all the Black Sea countries.

Only Russia has an increased naval presence in the region due to the war.

I think there is no need for the Navy, and the Coast Guard could handle it easily.”

* This article first appeared in Turkish on the website ODATV, translation by United World International.

United World International

Independent analytical center where political scientists and experts in international relations from various countries exchange their opinions and views.

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November 2023