Norway fears gas pipeline to Europe may also become target for sabotage

Norway fears gas pipeline to Europe may also become target for sabotage
Norway's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store pictured during a bilateral meeting between the Norway and Belgium heads of government to discuss the energy crisi, on Monday 29 August 2022 in Stavanger, Norway. BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM

The EU started importing more gas from Norway after Russia cut gas supplies, but following recent leaks at the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea, Norwegian authorities are also concerned that their pipelines carrying gas to Europe are at risk of sabotage.

Security experts warn that Norway and the rest of Europe are facing a new threat to its security and critical infrastructure.

"Norwegian gas supplies are likely the most important and strategic sabotage targets in all of Europe right now," said Geir Hågen Karlsen, lieutenant, and researcher at Norwegian Defence in NRK, a Norwegian public broadcaster.

A lack of security near the 9,000-kilometre Norwegian pipeline could have catastrophic consequences for Europe this winter after Russia stopped supplying gas to Europe. Norway has supplied Germany with 'as much gas as possible recently, due to German dependence on Russian gas.

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An attack on the pipeline could have a huge impact on Europe, security expert Ståle Ulriksen from the Norgewian Academy of Maritime Warfare told Norwegian media E24.

"It has never been as dangerous, as it is now, and that's why we've had our heads buried in the sand," said Ulriksen.

Gas is an 'important dimension' in Ukraine conflict

Following recent events near the Nord Stream pipelines, the Norwegian government held a crisis meeting on Wednesday to discuss the situation.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre has refused to speculate if Moscow is responsible for the damage to the Nord Stream pipelines. Yet he stressed that gas is "an important dimension" in the conflict over the war in Ukraine at a press briefing on Wednesday.

Støre added that Norway did not need to ask NATO for help in securing Norwegian energy supplies.

"We don't have any information on a specific threat against Norway," he said, adding that we must be "aware, not naive". Security and monitoring will be boosted, Støre said without going into any details.

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