EU believes sabotage likely in leaking Russian gas pipelines

BERLIN/COPENHAGEN: Any intentional disruption of the EU’s energy infrastructure will be met with a “strong and unified response”, the EU’s top diplomat said on Wednesday after a Several countries reported that two Russian gas pipelines to Europe were attacked.
As gas continues to spew out into the Baltic Sea, it remains unclear who may be behind the leak or any foul play, if proven, on the Nord Stream pipeline Russia and European partners spent billions of dollars building.
Russia, which cut gas supplies to Europe after the West imposed sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, also said there was a possibility of sabotage and leaks. undermine the energy security of the continent.
The European Union Josep Borrell was told by German broadcaster ntv that there was sabotage that could have caused the leak discovered on Monday. The EU has not named the potential culprit or suggested the reasons behind it.
“Any intentional disruption of Europe’s energy infrastructure is completely unacceptable and will be met with a strong and unified response,” Borrell said.
The Danish Defense Minister, meanwhile, said on Wednesday there was reason to be concerned about the security situation in the Baltic Sea region after a meeting with NATO general secretary Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels.
“Russia has a significant military presence in the Baltic Sea region and we expect it to continue its unruly behavior.” Morten Bodskov said in a statement.
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said at a press conference on Tuesday that two explosions were found in connection with the leak. While this does not represent an attack on Sweden, it is closely linked to partners like NATO and neighbors like Denmark and Germany.
Seismologists in Denmark and Sweden said they recorded two powerful explosions on Monday in the vicinity of the leak and explosions that were underwater rather than on the seabed.
The Nord Stream pipelines are at the heart of an escalating energy war between capitals in Europe and Moscow that has taken its toll on major Western economies, sent gas prices soaring and sparked a hunt Look for alternative sources of supply.
Denmark’s armed forces say the biggest gas leak has caused surface disturbances in wells more than 1 km (0.6 miles) in diameter, while agencies have issued warnings to the authorities. Transport ships avoid this area.
Neither pipeline was pumping gas at the time the leak was found, but the incidents wiped out any remaining expectations that Europe could get fuel through Nord Stream 1 before winter.
Nord Stream operator called the damage “unprecedented”, while Gazprom, the Russian-controlled company with a monopoly on gas exports by pipeline, declined to comment.
Norway says it will beef up security at oil and gas facilities following leaks and reports of drone activities in the North Sea and Danish authorities demanding higher levels of security. readiness in the electricity and gas sectors of the country.
Russia cut gas supplies to Europe through Nord Stream 1 before completely suspending flows in August, blaming Western sanctions for the technical difficulty. European politicians say that is a reason to stop supplying gas.
The new Nord Stream 2 pipeline has not yet entered commercial operation. Plans to use it for gas supplies were scrapped by Germany days before Russia sent troops into Ukraine, in what Moscow called a “special military operation” in February.
European gas prices rose after the leak news. The Dutch October benchmark price was up 11% at 204.50 euros/megawatt hour on Wednesday. While prices are still below this year’s peak, they are still 200% higher than they were in early September 2021.
In another twist to Europe’s gas supply story, Naftogaz’s chief executive on Wednesday said the Ukrainian energy company will resume arbitration proceedings against Gazprom over natural gas. course of Russia transiting the country.
Gazprom said on Tuesday that while dismissing all of Naftogaz’s claims in the arbitration, it could introduce sanctions against the company in the event it pressures the case.

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