The blown Nord Stream pipelines may not be repairable. In order to fix the leaks in the pipes, the sanctions against Russia would have to be lifted, according to Eastern Europe expert Sergei Sumlenny. However, the operator does not yet want to rule out a repair.

After the four leaks in the two pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2, repairing the blown pipes seems very unlikely. German security authorities assume that the lines will be useless forever. If the pipelines are not repaired quickly, there will be a lot of salt water. The pipelines could corrode, reports the “Tagesspiegel”.

While the operator of Nord Stream 1 did not initially rule out repairs, the sanctions imposed on Russia clearly speak against it. Because the West would have to overturn the sanctions in order to make repair work possible. The Russia expert Sergej Sumlenny explains to the “Bild” that ships that could carry out this construction work would have to get permission in the first place. In addition, Gazprom would have to pay for the repairs and the necessary technology would have to be made available.

Putin is now waiting “whether the Europeans will give in”. The Eastern Europe expert added on Twitter: “Putin wants us to lift the sanctions so that Nord Stream AG can repair the pipeline. If we do that, we will signal that we need Russian gas more than Putin, who has to sell us this gas.” Sumlenny estimates that this scenario would motivate Putin to take further “crazy steps”.

A repair cannot be ruled out at the moment, a spokesman for Nord Stream AG told the German Press Agency on Wednesday. For an assessment, the damage must first be assessed. So far there are no pictures. Only after an assessment can a possible course of action be determined. There are experiences and providers for corresponding work. The spokesman did not want to provide any information on possible costs and who would assume them because of the lack of information about the damage.

First, unmanned underwater vehicles controlled from ships would have to explore the damage. They want to inspect the damage as soon as possible, but that requires the authorities to lift the restricted zones that have been imposed. Any exploration or even repairs are likely to be difficult for Nord Stream 2 AG because the company has been under US sanctions since the beginning of the year, which make business with the Swiss-based company impossible.