Former French General Explains, Russia and Neutral Partners Should Participate in Pipeline Sabotage Investigation
Oct. 11, 2022 (EIRNS)—Gen. Henri Pinard-Legry (ret.) (in french) spoke about the Sept. 26 sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, evoking a “range of evidence” pointing to an “American or at least NATO involvement,” in an Oct. 4 interview with French anchorman David Pujadas on TV channel LCI’s program “24hPujadas” about the NATO conflict against Russia in Ukraine. Interrupted by his Pujadas, who hastened to inform him that such an analysis goes against the “consensus of observers,” Pinard-Legry, the current honorary president of the French Army Support Association (ASAF), said his view was based on “elements circulating in the press.” In particular, he noted that the area where the sabotage was observed was heavily monitored, and “necessarily extremely controlled with underwater sensors.” He recalled that “extremely important maneuvers” had taken place in this area, including “a considerable deployment of ships with helicopter flights whose trajectories followed the [gas pipeline] as if by chance,” referring to NATO’s June 2022 BALTOPS 22 exercises, involving 45 ships, some 75 aircraft, and 7,500 personnel.
And there are also geopolitical motivations, which, according to Pinard-Legry, could lend credence to the thesis of American responsibility. “What interest would the Russians have had in losing a means of pressure in these negotiations, when Biden had said that Nord Stream 2 would never work if there is a Russian offensive in Ukraine?” he questioned. The team presently in charge of the inquiry “cannot produce an objective report,” he told Pujadas, “since not all partners are involved, and there are no neutral partners involved.” Asked if Russia should be associated with the inquiry, the general asserted: “Russia or other countries.... NATO is handling the investigation” while the range of evidence leads us “to consider a U.S., or at least NATO intervention.”
The French newspaper 20 Minutes felt obliged on Oct. 7 to debunk Pinard-Legry’s statements, arguing that “it is not NATO that is in charge of the investigation into the sabotage of the Nordstream [sic] gas pipelines. It is conducted jointly by the services of neighboring countries: Sweden, Germany and Denmark”—although Denmark and Germany are NATO members and Sweden applied for membership in June.
Contacted by 20 Minutes, the German Interior Ministry confirmed that the investigation was being handled by a joint team, consisting of investigators from the three countries, formed under EU law. “We must reveal the facts behind this serious attack on European energy infrastructure,” said Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (whose name the daily also misspelled). Together with Poland (another NATO favorite), the three countries have also decided to strengthen and coordinate their maritime patrols to “maximize our presence at sea,” she remarked.