Russia says NATO used to exercise near Nord Stream leak point

The Russian official said that NATO in July exercised with deep-diving equipment near the Nord Stream pipeline leak off the coast of Denmark.

“NATO held drills, using many deep diving equipment in the area of ​​Bornholm island of Denmark in July. The area is full of NATO infrastructure,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. at a press conference on September 29.

NATO officials have not commented on this report.

Air bubbles escaped from a leak on the Nord Stream pipeline on September 28.  Photo: Swedish Coast Guard.

Air bubbles escaped from a leak on the Nord Stream pipeline on September 28. Image: Swedish Coast Guard.

The statement came after NATO confirmed that the leaks on the Nord Stream gas pipeline were “deliberate, reckless and irresponsible acts of sabotage”, and vowed to respond with “severe actions”. united and resolute response”.

Zakharova previously said that the Nord Stream pipeline leaked in the area monitored by US intelligence, asked US President Joe Biden to answer whether Washington was behind this incident and posted a video of the White House boss on 7 /2 warns “there will be no more Nord Stream 2 pipeline if Russian soldiers and tanks cross the Ukrainian border”.

US National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson criticized Russia’s request as “ridiculous” and accused Moscow of spreading fake news. An unnamed US official said that President Biden’s comments meant that the Nord Stream 2 system would not be operational and “he was right because Germany suspended the project”.

CNN Citing Western intelligence officials, Russian naval ships on September 26-27 appeared near the leak of the Nord Stream pipeline. A Danish military official said that Russian naval vessels regularly operate in the area and that their presence near the leak “doesn’t necessarily prove that Russia caused the incident”.

Leak locations on Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines. Graphics: BBC.

Leak locations on Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines. Graphics: BBC.

Swedish authorities on September 26 announced two leak locations on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, one in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of Denmark, the other in the Swedish EEZ, and the same leak location on Nord Stream 2 near the Danish island of Bornholm. The Swedish Coast Guard on September 29 discovered a fourth hole in the Nord Stream system, located on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

At the time of the incident, both pipes were not working but were filled with gas. Images taken by the Danish military show clouds of air with a diameter of 200-1,000 meters rising to the surface.

Germany, Denmark and Sweden all identified the two damaged pipelines as intentional sabotage, but did not say they suspected which side was behind.

Swedish authorities said they detected two underwater explosions before Nord Stream 1 leaked. A British defense source said that this was a premeditated act, the perpetrator could use a torpedo dropped from a ship or an unmanned device near the pipeline and detonate it.

Russia and the US both deny being behind the Nord Stream gas pipeline leak. Russia’s Federal Security Service has opened an investigation into acts of “international terrorism”, while the United Nations Security Council will meet on September 30 to discuss the matter. The Kremlin on September 29 called the leak an “act of terrorism at the state level”.

Nord Stream 1 and 2 have recently become the focus of geopolitical tensions, with Europe accusing Russia of cutting off gas supplies to weaponize energy, and Moscow saying Western sanctions make it impossible to meet supply security.

Vu Anh (Theo TASS, Reuters)

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