September 27, 2022, 18:52 PM
September 27, 2022, 18:52 PM
Seismologists in Denmark and Sweden on Monday reported underwater explosions around the pipes of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, which that same day suffered gas leaks.
The operators of ethese two big russian gas pipelines supplying gas to Europe They had reported damage to their facilities on Monday.
The Ukrainian government assured that leaks were provoked by Russia in a “terrorist attack”, while the governments of several countries of the European Union spoke of “sabotage”.
The operator of Nord Stream 1 said on Monday that subsea lines simultaneously suffered “unprecedented” damage in one day, while operators of Nord Stream 2 warned of a loss of pressure in the pipeline.
“There is no doubt that it waseither of explosions”, said Bjorn Lund, of the Swedish National Center for Seismology, quoted by local media.
That led to a warning from Danish authorities that ships should avoid the area near the island of Bornholm. They also posted images of the leaks showing bubbles on the surface of the Baltic Sea near the island.
Ukraine on Tuesday accused Russia of causing gas pipeline leaks to harm Europe.
“The gas leak from NS-1 [Nord Stream 1] is nothing more than a terrorist attack planned by Russia and an act of aggression towards the EU. Russia wants to destabilize the economic situation in Europe and cause panic before winter,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhaylo Podolyak wrote in a tweet.
He also called on European partners, particularly Germany, to increase military support for Ukraine.
“The best investment in response and security is tanks for Ukraine. Especially German ones,” he said.
Other European leaders floated the idea that the damage to pipelines was deliberately inflicted.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki spoke of sabotage, saying it was probably related to the war in Ukraine.
The Danish prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, pointed this Tuesday to a “intentional act” as the cause of leaks detected in Russian gas pipelines in the exclusive economic zones of Denmark and Sweden.
“It’s about some holes so big that can’t have been an accident,” Energy Minister Dan Jorgensen said at the same news conference.
At the same time, unconfirmed reports in German media said authorities were not ruling out an attack on the underwater gas network.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he was “Extremely worried” by the incident and that the possibility of a deliberate attack could not be ruled out.
The EU previously accused Russia of using a cut in gas supplies as an economic weapon, in response to European sanctions imposed over the Ukraine war.
However, Moscow denies this, saying sanctions have made it impossible to properly maintain gas infrastructure.
Whatever the cause of the damage, will not immediately affect gas supply to Europesince none of the gas pipelines were operational.
The Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which consists of two parallel branches, has not transported gas since August, when Russia shut it down for maintenance.
It stretches 1,200 km under the Baltic Sea from the Russian coast near Saint Petersburg to northeastern Germany.
Its sister gas pipeline, the Nord Stream 2, was stopped after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.
Although neither pipeline is operational, both still contain gas.
German, Danish and Swedish authorities are investigating the incidents.
The Danish energy authority told the Reuters news agency that the leak could continue for several days and maybe even a week.
Pipeline operators said it was impossible to estimate when the infrastructure would be repaired.
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