Offshore Gas Infrastructure in the Russian Counteraction to NATO on the East Flank: Potential for a Hybrid Use in the Black and Baltic Seas

In new research, experts of the CGSS21 studied the possibilities of the military use of the Nord Stream 2 in the Baltic Sea and the TurkStream in the Black Sea.

The pipelines could be used by Russia to justify the increase of its military presence in the waters of both seas as well as on the coastline. There is the need to protect strategically important offshore infrastructure, common and mutually beneficial Russian-German, Russian-Turkish and Russian-Bulgarian gas trade relations, as well as to neutralize threats posed by NATO, the USA, Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic States that in accordance with a Russian view are ready to resort to aggressive actions to block / destroy the new infrastructure, as they actively opposed it.

According to this approach, the likelihood of a scenario of hybrid occupation of the Baltic States and an increase in forces in the Kaliningrad region under the pretext of establishing a security zone for greater securitization of the main Russian-EU and Russian-German gas trade route is sharply increasing. In this case, it can be expected that NATO members such as Germany, Turkey and Bulgaria may not be on the side of the Alliance, but vice versa. Therefore, again, the best option for Europe is to abandon the Nord Stream 2, and for the United States - to block it with all possible means.

 

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