Fourth leak in Nord Stream pipeline, Russian ships nearby

Fourth leak in Nord Stream pipeline, Russian ships nearby
Leaks on the surface from the Nord Stream pipelines. Credit: Danish Defence on Twitter

A fourth leak has been discovered between the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, Swedish Coast Guard told Svenska Dagbladet. The latest breach is in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and is close to a larger leak in Nord Stream 1.

Two of the four leaks were in Swedish waters while the other two were discovered in Danish territorial waters. Authorities have been aware of the fourth leak since Tuesday afternoon.

The discovery follows explosions at the pipelines on Monday, which both Danish and Swedish authorities confirmed earlier this week. CNN reported on Thursday that European security officials monitored Russian naval ships near the Nord Stream pipeline leaks on Monday and Tuesday.

The pipelines began leaking in three separate sites around that time. Russian submarines were also observed near the sites, according to an intelligence official. Russian ships have a regular presence in the area, a Danish official confirmed. Their routine presence doesn’t necessarily indicate that Russia caused the damage.

However,  NATO said in a statement on Thursday that "all currently available information indicates that this is the result of deliberate, reckless, and irresponsible acts of sabotage."

Not surprising?

However, both the Danish and Swedish Prime Ministers believe the leaks are due to sabotage, but there is so far no evidence of what caused the damage to the pipelines. Swedish Defence said on Wednesday that although it believes sabotage is the cause, it does not infer an attack on Swedish territory.

"Despite war efforts in Ukraine, Russia has a sizeable presence in the Baltic region and we expect them to continue marking their territory," said Danish Defence Minister Morten Bødskov at a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday in Brussels.

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Danish and Swedish authorities are investigating, but it could take up to two weeks for an investigation to begin as pressure near the pipelines make it difficult to go near the area near the leaks, one official told CNN.

The UN Security Council will meet on Friday to discuss the leaks at the request of Russia, reported Reuters.

The Kremlin has denied any involvement in the damage to the pipeline, saying accusations are "predictable" and "stupid".


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