Blast Detected Before Nord Stream Gas Pipeline Leaked
European countries on Tuesday raced to investigate unexplained leaks in two Russian gas pipelines running under the Baltic Sea near Sweden and Denmark, infrastructure at the heart of an energy crisis since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Chris Liakos reported for CNN.
Photo Insert: The construction phase of Nord Stream 1
Several European officials said sabotage appeared to be the likely cause, while Russia — which built the network — did not rule it out. Explosions in an area close to Nord Stream pipelines were detected by seismologists on Monday, Sept. 26.
However, it is unclear if those events were connected to the pipelines, Reuters also reported.
Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland said Tuesday that the initial information received about the leaks indicated “acts of sabotage.” Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and her Danish counterpart, Mette Frederiksen, both said the incident was likely “deliberate” but played down the possibility of a military threat.
In Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters “no option can be ruled out right now.”
Experts also agreed that the damage could be intentional. Jakub Godzimirski, a research professor at the Norwegian Institute of Foreign Affairs who specializes in Russian energy policy, said the leaks could have been technical malfunctions but said sabotage was a possibility.
“There are some indications that it is deliberate damage,” said a European security source, while adding it was still too early to draw conclusions. “You have to ask: Who would profit?”