European politicians assume sabotage in pipeline leaks

Since Monday, gas has been leaking from the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines from Russia to Germany at three points in Danish and Swedish territorial waters near the Danish island of Bornholm.

European politicians assume sabotage in pipeline leaks

Since Monday, gas has been leaking from the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines from Russia to Germany at three points in Danish and Swedish territorial waters near the Danish island of Bornholm. The Danish Navy released images showing large-scale formation of bubbles on the sea surface.

There was initially no official information on a possible cause of the leaks. But an act of sabotage is suspected. Frederiksen said the Danish authorities' clear opinion was that it was not an accident. She did not comment on possible causes. Energy and Climate Secretary Dan Jorgensen said the holes the gas is leaking through are "too big" to have a random cause.

Although the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines are currently not in operation, they are filled with gas. Copenhagen assumes that it will take "at least a week" for the methane escaping from the pipes to be used up, Jörgensen said.

Sweden's Prime Minister Andersson said there had been "detonations" in the Baltic Sea. Her foreign minister, Ann Linde, said she didn't want to "speculate about motives or perpetrators."

Von der Leyen said on Twitter that it is now of the utmost importance to investigate the incidents in order to get "complete clarity" about what happened and the background. Any deliberate disruption to Europe's energy infrastructure is "unacceptable and will result in the strongest possible response," she warned.

The US government is also investigating reports that the leaks are "the result of an attack or some form of sabotage," according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Washington supports calls for an investigation and will continue to work to "ensure Europe's energy security".

According to a media report, the US secret service CIA had warned the federal government weeks ago of possible attacks on gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea. Such a tip from the US foreign intelligence service was received in Berlin in the summer, the "Spiegel" reported, citing "people familiar with the matter". The CIA initially did not respond to a request from the AFP news agency.

The operating company Nord Stream announced an investigation to work with the local authorities to determine the damage and clarify the causes of the incident. It is currently not possible to estimate how long it will take to repair the pipelines.

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki spoke of an "act of sabotage" that "probably represents the next level of escalation" in the Ukraine conflict.

Norwegian military scientist and naval officer Tor Ivar Strömmen told AFP that only Russia could be responsible. "Leaks in gas pipelines are extremely rare," Strömmen said. The Nord Stream lines are also quite new, in the case of Nord Stream 2 even very new. The only explanation left is sabotage. "I see only one possible player and that is Russia," the officer said.

As expected, Ukraine was even clearer: "The large-scale 'gas leak' at Nord Stream 1 is nothing more than a terrorist attack planned by Russia and an act of aggression against the EU," wrote Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak on Twitter.

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