In this picture provided by Swedish Coast Guard, the gas leak in the Baltic Sea from Nord Stream photographed from the Coast Guard’s aircraft on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2022. A fourth leak on the Nord Stream pipelines has been reported off southern Sweden. Earlier, three leaks had been reported on the two underwater pipelines running from Russia to Germany. (Swedish Coast Guard via AP)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — NATO said Thursday it would retaliate for any attacks on the critical infrastructure of its 30 member countries as it suggested that damage to two gas pipelines off Denmark and would-be member Sweden in international waters in the Baltic Sea is the result of sabotage.

“Any deliberate attack against Allies’ critical infrastructure would be met with a united and determined response,” NATO ambassadors said in a statement. They said that the damage to the pipelines between Russia and Germany “is of deep concern.”

The alliance also said that “all currently available information indicates that this is the result of deliberate, reckless, and irresponsible acts of sabotage. These leaks are causing risks to shipping and substantial environmental damage.”

Danish Defense Minister Morten Bødskov on Twitter called it a “joint condemnation and very strong signal from the alliance.”

The Swedish coast guard on Thursday confirmed a fourth leak on the Nord Stream pipelines off southern Sweden.

“We have leakage at two positions” off Sweden, coast guard spokesperson Mattias Lindholm. There are two more off Denmark, he said.

Two of the leaks are on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline that recently stopped supplying gas, while the other two are on Nord Stream 2 that never started operating. Although they weren’t running, both pipelines were filled with gas, which has escaped and bubbled to the surface.

The Nord Stream pipelines run through the Baltic to transport gas from Russia to Germany. The Danish and Swedish governments believe that the leaks off their countries were “deliberate actions.”

Before the leaks were reported, explosions were recorded. A first explosion was recorded by seismologists early Monday southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm. A second, stronger blast northeast of the island that night was equivalent to a magnitude-2.3 earthquake. Seismic stations in Denmark, Norway and Finland also registered the explosions.

Some European officials and energy experts have said Russia is likely to blame for any sabotage — it directly benefits from higher energy prices and economic anxiety across Europe — although others cautioned against pointing fingers until investigators are able to determine what happened.

Speaking Wednesday before the fourth leak was reported, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said it would have taken a large explosive device to cause the damage.

In Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that the Nord Stream pipeline incident would have been impossible without a state actor’s involvement.

“It looks like a terror attack, probably conducted on a state level,” Peskov said in a conference call with reporters.

“Judging by the amount of destruction of the Nord Stream, it’s hard to imagine that such action could have been taken without a state involvement,” Peskov said. “It’s a very dangerous situation that requires a quick investigation.”

He dismissed media reports about Russian warships spotted in the area as “stupid and biased,” adding that “many more aircraft and vessels belonging to NATO countries have been spotted in the area.”

Torben Ørting Jørgensen, a former admiral with the Danish navy, told The Associated Press that it was “not so demanding” to carry out an operation either by using a remotely operated underwater vehicle or sending divers from a submarine or a surface vessel.

“Those who carried out the operation knew they wouldn’t get caught,” Ørting Jørgensen said. “Who would have thought of an operation against pipelines in the Baltic Sea?”

Jan M. Olsen, The Associated Press


News from © The Canadian Press, 2022. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • 0037 TED_DEEP_30_
  • 0036 Prairie Lithium - Chad Glemser 30 Sec
  • 0035 TED - Whitecap
  • 0034 TED_NA Helium 2021
  • 0033 Buffalo Potash Jared Small Footprint
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0029 Latus Viro updated Latus phone
  • 0027 TED_NA Helium 2021_30
  • 0025 Kendalls
  • 0026 Buffalo Potash Quinton Salt
  • 0023 LC Trucking tractor picker hiring mix
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0019 Jerry Mainil Ltd hiring dugout
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0014 Buffalo Potash What if PO
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 0004 Royal Helium PO Ad 02
  • 9001
  • 0002

 

Vancouver gas prices pass $2.39, breaking North American record: analyst