Nord Stream pipeline leaks due to sabotage, officials say

Nord Stream pipeline leaks due to sabotage, officials say
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. Credit: Belga

The vast leaks along the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines near a Danish island in the Baltic Sea were caused by "deliberate actions," according to Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

"It is now the clear assessment by authorities that these are deliberate actions. It was not an accident,” Ms. Frederiksen said at crisis press conference organised by her government on Tuesday evening.

In addition to the depth of the waters, Copenhagen's conclusion - based in particular on the fact that the holes through which the gas has been escaping are too big to be accidental - is that they were caused by detonations, Energy Minister Dan Jørgensen explained.

The Danish authorities did not name any suspects. “There is no information yet to indicate who may be behind this action,” Ms. Frederiksen said.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also described the leaks, which were first reported on Monday, as an act of sabotage.

I “spoke about the Nord Stream sabotage act to (Danish Prime Minister) Frederiksen,” Ms. von der Leyen wrote on Twitter on Tuesday evening. It is "paramount to now investigate the incidents" and to "get full clarity on the events and their causes," she stressed.

"Any deliberate disruption of active European energy infrastructure is unacceptable and will lead to the strongest possible response," Ms. von der Leyen added.

The Nord Stream gas pipelines linking Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea are non-operational due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. However, they are filled with gas.

The Danish authorities estimate that the leaks will last "at least a week" until the methane escaping from the underwater pipes runs out, according to Energy Minister Jørgensen.

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