EU promises strong response after sabotage of Nord Stream gas pipelines

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, spoke with the Danish Prime Minister about the Nord Stream leaks, which she called “sabotage”, and assured that any deliberate interruption of the active European energy infrastructure is unacceptable and “will lead to the strongest possible response.”

“I spoke to (Danish Prime Minister Mette) Frederiksen about the Nordstream sabotage action,” von der Leyen said on Twitter, adding that it was now paramount to investigate the incidents to get full clarity on the “events and why.”

The operator of the Nord Stream, Nord Stream AG, has indicated during the day on Tuesday that the damage suffered by three of the pipelines late on Monday “is unprecedented”, after a gas leak in one of the sections of the Nord Stream 2 and a loss of pressure in Nord Stream 1, without the causes being known for now.

During the afternoon of Monday, the Danish authorities detected a gas leak in one of the sections of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline on the Danish island of Bornholm. Hours later, the Nord Stream 1 submarine gas pipeline detected a drop in the pressure of the gas from Russia sent to Germany and that affects the two lines of the pipeline.

With these statements, the EU joins the suspicions acknowledged by Norway, Denmark, Poland, Ukraine, and the United States that the gas pipeline leaks are the result of acts of sabotage. Swedish seismologists have gone further and confirmed explosions in the area hours before the leaks were confirmed.

The Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, has asserted that, in the event that the leaks registered in the Nord Stream gas pipeline are the result of sabotage, this fact would be something that “does not benefit anyone”.

“There are initial reports that this may be the result of an attack or some kind of sabotage, but these are initial reports and we have not confirmed it yet,” Blinken said.

However, the highest US diplomatic representative considers that these leaks will not have a “significant impact” on the “energy resilience of Europe”, in part thanks to the joint work carried out on the energy security of Europe.

The Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Aasland, has joined the suspicions of other European countries and has pointed out the possibility that the leaks registered in the Nord Stream gas pipeline are the result of “acts of sabotage”.

“The Norwegian Government is following the events in the Baltic Sea, where there are gas leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2. According to the information we have seen so far, a lot indicates acts of sabotage,” said Aasland.

The Government of Ukraine has affirmed that the gas leaks detected in the Nord Stream derive from “a terrorist attack planned by Russia”, thus adding to the theory of sabotage that some governments such as the Danish and the Polish have recently acknowledged.

The adviser to the Ukrainian Presidency, Mijailo Podoliak, has indicated on Twitter that Russia, with this “act of aggression”, wants to “destabilize the economic situation” in Europe and “provoke panic before winter”. The “best response”, in his opinion, is to send more military aid to Ukraine.

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