EU ‘response strongly’ if gas pipeline is sabotaged

EU leaders warned that they would respond to attacks on the region’s energy infrastructure, after the Nord Stream pipeline leak.

“Any act that deliberately disrupts Europe’s energy infrastructure is unacceptable and will result in the strongest possible response,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote on Twitter today. September 27.

Ms. von der Leyen said she had discussed with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen about the leak at the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, saying that this was the result of sabotage and the European Union (EU) regulation. ) need to do now is to investigate and clarify the matter.





European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks in Brussels, Belgium, September 7.  Photo: Reuters.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks in Brussels, Belgium, September 7. Image: Reuters.

Nord Stream AG, the operator of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, previously confirmed three locations of damage on gas pipelines in the Nord Stream system, near the Danish island of Bornholm, describing these as something that “never happened”. Nord Stream AG is currently unable to estimate the recovery time for gas transit through these pipelines.

Images taken by the Danish military show plumes of air with a diameter of 200-1,000 meters rising to the surface from three leak sites within the exclusive economic zones of this country and Sweden.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen also suspected the leaking pipes were not an accident, but a “deliberate act”. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said “there have been explosions” while Foreign Minister Ann Linde said they would not speculate on a motive or behind.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not rule out the possibility that the two Nord Stream pipelines were sabotaged. According to Peskov, Russia is very concerned about the situation and needs to open an investigation because it is a matter of energy security “for the whole continent”.

Nord Stream pipeline suspected of being planted with explosives

A large gas bubble emerged from the leak of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in Danish waters. Video: Guardian.

Meanwhile, Mikhaylo Podolyak, an adviser to the Ukrainian president, said that the incident on Nord Stream 1 could be the result of a “terrorist attack” carried out by Moscow. The Kremlin has not yet commented on the statement.

“There is some speculation that this is deliberate sabotage,” a European security source said, but noted it was too early to draw conclusions. “You have to ask the question: Who benefits?”.

At the time of the incident, both pipes were not working but were filled with gas. Denmark estimated the leak lasted “at least a week”, until all the gas in the pipeline under the Baltic Sea escaped.

Kristoffer Bottzauw, director of the Danish energy agency, warned that the sea surface at the leak “is full of methane, which means an increased risk of explosions” and threatens ships entering the area. Denmark has previously warned ships and planes not to go within five nautical miles of Bornholm.





An area of ​​air bubbles escaping to the sea surface from a leak in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline off the island of Bornholm, Denmark.  Photo: EPA-EFE.

An area of ​​air bubbles escaping to the sea surface from a leak in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline off the island of Bornholm, Denmark. Image: EPA-EFE.

Nord Stream 1 and 2 are the focus of the energy war between Russia and Europe. Europe accuses Russia of using gas as a weapon to retaliate against Western sanctions, after it launched a military campaign in Ukraine at the end of February. Moscow has repeatedly denied it, saying the sanctions fines from the West and technical problems caused the supply through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to be interrupted.

Nord Stream 1 is the largest gas pipeline from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea, consisting of two parallel pipelines with a capacity of 27.5 billion m3 per year on each side. The pipeline stopped working completely from the beginning of September, when the Russian corporation Gazprom announced on September 2 that it could not reopen after maintenance because of technical problems. Previously, the gas flow through Nord Stream 1 was only 20% of capacity because some turbines stopped working.

Nord Stream 2 completed by the end of 2021, located almost parallel to Nord Stream 1, will help double the gas supply from Russia to Germany to 110 billion m3 per year. Berlin indefinitely postponed the grant of permits for Nord Stream 2 on February 22, two days before Russia began its special military operation in Ukraine.





Location of leak points on two Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines. Graphics: DW.

Location of leak points on two Nord Stream pipelines 1 and 2. Graphics: DW.

Like Tam (Theo AFP, Reuters)

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