Conflicts & War

Nord Stream leaks prompt sabotage suspicions

(Update 1: Adds detail throughout, re-ledes, alters headline)

Moscow/Berlin, Sep 27 (EFE).- Three mysterious leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines linking Russia with Europe via the Baltic Sea have raised suspicions of sabotage Tuesday.

Denmark’s military detected two leaks in the Nord Stream 1, which has two branches, and one in the Nord Stream 2 near the island of Bornholm, a Danish territory in the Baltic Sea.

Images collected by Danish military aircraft showed one of the leaks emerging on the surface of the sea.

The rupture of the pipes and gas leaks, two detected in Danish waters and one in Swedish waters, prompted Copenhagen to declare an energy emergency.

Nord Stream AG said on Tuesday the damage of the three offshore pipelines in one day was “unprecedented,” adding it was not able to say when they would be restored.

“The damage that occurred simultaneously to three offshore pipeline strings of the Nord Stream infrastructure on the same day is unprecedented.

“It is not yet possible to estimate the timing of the restoration of the gas transport infrastructure,” the Swiss consortium which operates Nord Stream 1 and 2 said.

Neither of the Nord Stream branches are delivering gas — Nord Stream 1 was halted in August with Russia claiming maintenance needs while Nord Stream 2 was shelved in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine — but both were filled with pressurized gas at the time of the leaks.

The Kremlin said it was “very alarmed” by the rupture of the three pipelines.

“Until we have the results of the investigation, we cannot rule out anything,” the Kremlin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said in his daily press conference on Tuesday.

German media outlet Tagesspiegel cited unnamed security officials as suggesting the damage was a result of intentional sabotage.

Denmark’s prime minister Mette Frederiksen told the country’s TV2 that while it was too early to draw conclusions, “it is hard to imagine it is a coincidence” given the nature of the leaks.

Poland’s deputy foreign affairs minister Marcin Przydacz said all possibilities had to be examined and that a possible Russian provocation could not be ruled out. EFE


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