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GEOSTRATEGIC INTELLIGENCE REPORT

NATO Members, Russia Trade Threats, While Potential For Indo-Pacific Conflict Builds

The User's Profile Mike Shelby September 30, 2022
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NATO-RUSSIA

Norway Deploys Military to Protect Energy Infrastructure

Citing increased security requirements, Norwegian officials announced the internal deployment of national police and military units to protect oil and gas infrastructure following the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines. The move follows Monday’s warning from Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority calling for extra vigilance against “accident” or “direct attack” after a series of unidentified drones had been sighted near the country’s offshore oil and gas platforms. Norway is now the largest gas supplier to Europe and possesses extensive energy oil infrastructure with 90 offshore oil and gas fields connected to more than 9,000km of gas pipelines.

Analyst Comments: Several Norwegian offshore and coastal facilities are in close proximity to the bases of the Russian Northern Fleet on the Barents Sea (including the Polyarny submarine base), making them a prime target for retaliatory strikes on NATO/EU energy infrastructure since Russia claims U.S./NATO culpability in the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines. Similarly, Norway’s newly inaugurated Baltic Sea pipeline also presents a target of opportunity for retaliation as it remains the sole baltic pipeline delivering LNG to mainland Europe.

Estonia Warns of Baltic Blackouts

Estonian Prime Minister accused Russia of planning to disrupt power to the Baltic nations’ shared electrical grid. Russian officials said they would delay a series of planned tests in its Kaliningrad enclave, which runs on a network also used by Baltic nations. While the Baltic countries have taken steps to end reliance on Russian energy and have stopped importing electricity, the countries depend on Russia to maintain grid balance across the shared network. Estonian officials warned that a sudden disconnection of Russia from the grid would trigger a cascading failure and cause blackouts that could last from hours to days, viewing the delay of scheduled tests as the first step towards Russian weaponization of the grid.

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