Spain says Russia is likely responsible for Nord Stream gas leak

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

Spanish Energy Minister Teresa Ribera said on Thursday that damage caused to two undersea Nord Stream gas pipelines could be a deliberate act involving the Russian government.

“It was a deliberate act and, in my opinion, most likely related to the Kremlin’s continued provocation of provocations,” Ribera told reporters, according to Reuters.

The Russian Foreign Ministry was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC on Thursday morning.

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

The cause of the gas leak is still unknown. Swedish police are currently investigating the leak and the European Union sabotage suspectespecially as the incident comes amid a bitter energy disagreement between Brussels and Moscow.

Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines connect Russia with Germany via the Baltic Sea.

Seismologists on Monday reported explosions near the unusual Nord Stream gas leak, which is in international waters but inside the exclusive economic zones of Denmark and Sweden.

The explosions 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.

“It was a deliberate act, and in my opinion, it is most likely related to the Kremlin’s frequent promotion of provocative actions,” Ribera told reporters on Thursday, according to Reuters.

Europa Press News | Europa Press | beautiful pictures

EU foreign policy director Josep Borrell warning “strong and united” retaliatory measures if evidence of willful disturbance is discovered.

His comments echoed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who pledged any deliberate disruption of Europe’s working energy infrastructure would lead to “the strongest response”. maybe”.

Notably, neither of them directly accused Russia of being responsible for the suspected attack.

Russian ships are said to have been seen near the leak

US news channel CNN report On Thursday, citing three unnamed sources, European security officials observed Russian naval support ships and submarines near the Nord Stream gas pipeline leak site.

Asked to comment on the CNN report, Kremlin’s Peskov said there was already a much larger NATO presence in the region.

The North Atlantic Council, the main political decision-making body of the Western military alliance NATO, speak in a statement on Thursday that “any deliberate attack on Allied critical infrastructure will be met with a unified and resolute response.”

The council said: “All available information indicates that this was the result of deliberate, reckless and irresponsible acts of vandalism.

Neither pipeline was pumping gas at the time of the leak, but both routes 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.

– CNBC’s Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report.

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