Europe vows to respond to suspected vandalism

Putin tried to illegally annex Ukrainian territories because the Nord Stream pipeline could be sabotaged

The European Union on Wednesday raced to find out exactly what happened and why then Mysterious gas leak hits two Russian underwater gas pipelineswarns of retaliatory measures for any deliberate attack on the region’s energy infrastructure.

In one statement Representing all 27 members, the EU’s foreign policy director Josep Borrell on Wednesday said the bloc was “deeply concerned” about the damage to the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines linking Russia to Germany. across the Baltic Sea.

“All available information suggests that these leaks were the result of an intentional act,” Borrell said.

“Any intentional disruption of Europe’s energy infrastructure is completely unacceptable and will be met with a strong and unified response.”

Nord Stream AG, the operator of the two pipelines, said on Tuesday that three known gas leaks had caused “unprecedented” damage. The company added that it is yet to be determined when gas grid capacity will be restored.

BORNHOLM, DENMARK – SEPTEMBER 27: The Danish defense shows a gas leak at Nord Stream 2 as seen from a Danish F-16 interceptor in Bornholm, Denmark on September 27, 2022.

Danish Defense / | Anadolu Agency | beautiful pictures

Seismologists on Monday reported explosions near an unusual gas leak in the Nordic Stream, which caused gas to spew into the Baltic Sea.

The Danish armed forces said the video shows the largest gas leak generating surface disturbances about 1 km (0.62 mi) in diameter, while the smallest caused a ring. about 200 meters round.

The Danish and Swedish authorities declared a no-shipping zone around the leak, which is in international waters but inside the exclusive economic zones of Denmark and Sweden.

The cause is still unknown. Some European leaders have hinted at the possibility of sabotage, especially when the suspected attack occurred in the context of acrimonious energy standoff between Brussels and Moscow.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday that investigating the cases was of paramount importance.

“Any intentional disruption of Europe’s working energy infrastructure is unacceptable. [and] will lead to the strongest possible response,” von der Leyen said via Twitter.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Danish Prime Minister Annette Frederiksen said the leaks were clearly the result of deliberate actions, while Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawieck said the suspected attack was a destructive action.

Both Europe and Russia consider that sabotage as the cause of the damage cannot be ruled out.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday said claims Russia was behind the suspected attack were “stupid”, Reuters reported.

“Never believe in anything until the Kremlin denies it,” Timothy Ash, emerging markets strategist at BlueBay Asset Management, said by email.

(L to R) Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist hold a press conference on the Baltic Sea gas leak from the Nord Stream in Stockholm, on September 27 year 2022.

Fredrik Persson | Afp | beautiful pictures

Neither pipeline was pumping gas at the time of the leak, but both lines remained pressurized: Nord Stream 1 stopped pumping gas to Europe “indefinitely” earlier this month, with Moscow’s operator letting that international sanctions against Russia have prevented it from performing important maintenance work.

Meanwhile, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline was never officially opened due to Germany’s refusal to issue certification for commercial activities due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Environmental hazards

Given the pipeline’s capacity to pump around 165 million cubic meters of heavy methane gas per day, leaks of this scale represent a “serious hazard,” said analysts at political risk consultancy Eurasia Group. important to safety and the environment, especially Russia should not stop pumping gas. into the system.”

Swedish police on Tuesday started an investigation into Nord Stream.

Sweden’s Public Prosecution Service told CNBC on Wednesday that prosecutors are currently reviewing the investigation and will decide how the case will be handled in the future.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday that he had held talks with Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod about the “clear sabotage” of Nord Streams 1 and 2.

Blinken said the US “will remain committed to promoting Europe’s energy security.”

– CNBC’s Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report.

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