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Blame game over Nord Stream gas leaks

October 1st, 2022

A left-wing and a pro-government columnist offer diametrically opposite explanations of the attack on both Nord Stream pipelines. They both fear, however, that the underwater explosions are a harbinger of bigger conflicts ahead.

Népszava’s Gábor Horváth speculates that Russia is the only power that had both the means and the interest to crack the Nord Stream pipelines. The left-wing pundit rules out the option that the US or its NATO allies are behind the damage, bearing in mind that the disruption of the pipelines harms Germany first and foremost. As for the broader implications, Horváth fears that military failures in Ukraine and growing discontent at home may provoke the Russian leadership to act even more belligerently, namely to threaten to use nuclear weapons and escalate the war.

In Magyar Nemzet, Bence Apáti finds it telling that the left-wing media rules out US involvement in the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines. The pro-government columnist claims that US President Biden in February ‘threatened to destroy’ the pipelines if Russia invades Ukraine – a fact that left-wing pundits like to forget. (In February this year, President Joe Biden said ‘if Russia invades Ukraine, there will be no Nord Stream 2’, but didn’t mention Nord Stream 1, nor did he specify how he would go about ensuring that the second pipeline would not be used.) Apáti accuses left-wing media outlets of using double standards and accusing only Russia of violence at home and abroad, while remaining silent when the US provokes conflict, or Ukraine drafts ethnic Hungarians into the military by force.

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