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Nord Stream leaks ‘can’t be a coincidence’: German officials

27.09.2022 23:15
This week’s mysterious leaks in the Nord Stream gas pipelines “can’t be a coincidence,” German officials have said, according to reports. 
A gas leak from the Nord Stream 2 pipeline off Bornholm, Denmark, as seen in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday, September 27, 2022.
A gas leak from the Nord Stream 2 pipeline off Bornholm, Denmark, as seen in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday, September 27, 2022.PAP/EPA/Danish Defence Command

According to German government officials, simultaneous leaks in the Russia-to-Germany Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines “can’t be a coincidence” and “there is much that suggests a targeted attack,” public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported on Tuesday.  

German politicians were not ruling out a deliberate provocation from Russia, IAR said, citing Germany’s Der Tagesspiegel newspaper.   

‘Terrorist attack planned by Russia’: Podolyak

Meanwhile, Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, said in a tweet on Tuesday that the leak found on Nord Stream 1 was “nothing more that a terrorist attack planned by Russia and an act of aggression towards EU.”

He added: “Russia wants to destabilise economic situation in Europe and cause pre-winter panic. The best response and security investment — tanks for Ukraine, especially German ones…”

The leaks 

On Tuesday morning, Denmark’s energy agency announced there was a leak in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, close to the Danish island of Bornholm on the Baltic Sea, according to news outlets. 

Hours later, Sweden’s maritime authorities reported two leaks in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, also close to Bornholm.

Both Denmark and Sweden warned ships to avoid the region. 

'Two strong underwater explosions': Swedish agency

Sweden's National Seismological Network (SNSN) said on Tuesday it had detected two "strong underwater explosions" on Monday in the area where the Nord Stream leaks had been discovered, Polish state news agency PAP reported.  

"There is no doubt that these were explosions," said Björn Lund of the SNSN.

Seismograph spiked twice on day of Nord Stream leaks: German officials

According to the German geological research centre GFZ, a seismograph on Bornholm twice recorded spikes representing earth tremors on Monday, the day when both Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines underwent dramatic falls in pressure, the Reuters news agency reported.

The apparatus recorded near-silence until 0003 GMT (2 a.m. local time) when there was a spike representing a tremor in the earth, followed by a continuous hissing waveform; the pattern repeated itself at 1700, officials said.


European politicians, including Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, have suggested that the pipeline rupture near Bornholm could have been caused by sabotage. Similar concerns have been voiced by security experts. 

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said: "We do not yet know the details of what happened, but we can clearly see that it is an act of sabotage." 

He added that the incident represented "the next stage in the escalation of the situation we are facing in Ukraine," as reported by politico.eu.

US declares support for investigation into Nord Stream leaks

Meanwhile, a representative of the US National Security Council said on Tuesday the White House would support the efforts of European partners to investigate the leaks.

The US official added that the leaks underscored the importance "of our shared efforts to secure alternative gas supplies for Europe," the PAP news agency reported. 

'Impossible to rule out any option': Peskov

Asked if the leaks were the result of sabotage, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov replied: "We cannot rule out any possibility right now. Obviously, there is some sort of destruction of the pipe. Before the results of the investigation, it is impossible to rule out any option."

"This is a completely unprecedented situation that requires an urgent investigation," Peskov added, as cited by politico.eu.

Germany’s GFZ agency refused to be drawn on whether the tremors recorded could have been the result of an explosion.

"There was a spike and then regular noise," GFZ spokesman Josef Zens told reporters. "We cannot say if that could be gas streaming out," he said, as quoted by Reuters.

Meanwhile, experts said the Nord Stream leaks would not affect gas supplies or endanger the environment, according to the IAR news agency.

The Baltic Pipe

Germany’s Focus magazine noted that the leaks coincided with the launch on Tuesday of the Baltic Pipe gas link, which is designed to bring gas from Norway to Poland via Denmark, IAR also reported. 

This fact is not without importance as the Baltic Pipe represents another step towards Europe’s independence from Russian raw materials, Focus said, as cited by IAR. 

Poland's Morawiecki and Denmark's Frederiksen both attended Tuesday’s launch, alongside Polish President Andrzej Duda, among other officials. 

Nord Stream 1 and 2

Both the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, designed to bring gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, have been at the heart of the energy crisis between the Kremlin and Europe.

Russia stopped deliveries through Nord Stream 1 earlier in September, deepening the crisis as European countries seek to replace that gas from other sources ahead of the winter.

Meanwhile, Germany cancelled the approval procedure for Nord Stream 2 just before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. The pipeline had been completed and filled with gas, but was awaiting certification. 

Ukraine and Poland have long opposed the two Nord Stream pipelines as a security threat, saying the projects were designed to bypass Ukraine and give Russia huge power over European gas supplies. 

European countries have accused Russia of using energy supplies as a weapon.

Tuesday was day 216 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters, politico.euft.com