Zbigniew Rau made the remark in an interview with public broadcaster Polish Radio on Wednesday night.
Russia’s involvement ‘increasingly plausible’
Poland’s top diplomat, who is making a visit to Washington this week, said that the cause of the Nord Stream leaks “will be established by investigators,” Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
He added: “However, when we analyse the energy-security situation in the Baltic Sea region, the hypothesis that Russian services were behind the leaks is looking increasingly plausible.”
Rau told Polish Radio that Russia may have damaged the pipelines “to deepen European divisions over how to ensure energy security.”
The Polish foreign minister added that the Kremlin “may be seeking to intimidate Europe” by showing that “Europe’s energy security is not guaranteed, because if the Nord Stream pipelines can be damaged, then the same can be done to the Baltic Pipe.”
Rau criticised former Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski, who took to Twitter to thank the United States for the Nord Stream leaks.
“In Russia’s hybrid war against NATO countries, Radosław Sikorski has taken the wrong side,” Rau said in Washington.
Sweden’s security services investigating ‘gross sabotage’ against Nord Stream
Meanwhile, Sweden’s security service SAPO on Wednesday took over the investigation from the country’s police force into “gross sabotage” concerning the Nord Stream pipelines, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
SAPO said in a statement: “The Swedish Security Service has taken over the criminal investigation into the events concerning Nord Stream from the Swedish Police Authority. The offence currently being investigated is gross sabotage.”
It added: “The investigation is being conducted by the Swedish Security Service, as this may concern a serious crime which, at least to some extent, targets Swedish interests, and it cannot be ruled out that foreign powers are behind it.”
Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said at a news conference on Wednesday that “this kind of damage to a gas pipeline requires a fairly large amount of explosive material,” as cited by the PAP news agency.
Foreign Minister Ann Linde told reporters: “All the evidence suggests that the leaks are a deliberate act, designed to disrupt energy supplies to the European Union.”
A Swedish Coast Guard official said, as cited by PAP: “According to information obtained from the company running the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, the leak in the pipeline will start to subside on Sunday. So far, gas is leaking out at a steady pace.”
Unexplained leaks off Danish island of Bornholm
The two Russia-to-Germany Nord Stream gas pipelines, running under the Baltic Sea, were hit by unexplained leaks off the Danish island of Bornholm.
Since authorities reported the rupture on Tuesday, concerns have spread about possible sabotage.
The Swedish National Seismic Network (SNSN) said it had detected two "strong underwater explosions" on Monday, in the area where the Nord Stream leaks had been discovered, according to news outlets.
The three gas leaks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 arteries have been visible in waters off Denmark with huge areas of bubbling spreading from 200 to 1,000 metres in diameter, the Danish army said.
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called the leaks “an act of sabotage.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the rupture was caused by “sabotage action.”
Thursday is day 218 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: IAR, PAP, sakerhetspolisen.se, politico.eu