Inspector Columbo investigates Putin

Why Russia had no interest in destroying the Nord Stream pipelines 

Peter Hanseler

If you read the Western press, the opinions are already made: it must have been Russia that blew up the pipelines. The Russians are the only ones – apart from the Americans – who could do such a thing. According to the press, it could not have been America. 

Cui bono? Who benefits? 

After a crime, if you don’t know who could be the perpetrator, the police proceed as follows: Who had a motive? 

Translated to geopolitics: Who had an interest? 

The first person Commissioner Columbo would probably question is Mr. Putin, since everyone is pointing the finger at him. 

Mr Putin would say: I have no motive. I spent over 12 billion US dollars on Nord Stream 2 alone. Both Nord Stream pipelines bring me a lot of money when they are open. I control the gas tap; in order not to deliver gas, I would only have to turn it off, not destroy the pipelines straight away. 

The pipelines are my ace in the hole in future negotiations with Germany. The EU and above all Germany are in a more than difficult situation. 

Many in Germany – including members of parliament – already wanted to talk to me in order to reach an agreement or a partial agreement. 

But now the situation has changed: if I open the gas tap now, nothing will come out the other end. 

In short, the ace up my sleeve has been snatched away. 

The Germans will now say – and rightly so – that what we wanted from Mr Putin he can no longer deliver. 

Commissioner Columbo writes everything down.

On his way out he thinks to himself: what Mr Putin said makes sense. 

If he’s not completely insane and destroys his own advantages, I can rule him out as the culprit. 

Inspector Columbo investigates Putin
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