On Tuesday, European nations investigated a mysterious leak in two Russian gas pipelines that cross the Baltic Sea close to Sweden and Denmark. These pipelines are at the centre of an energy crisis that has existed since Russia invaded Ukraine.
In a video provided by Denmark’s armed forces on Tuesday, the leak generated surface disturbances that were well over one kilometre in diameter. The video shows bubbles rushing to the surface of the Baltic Sea above the pipelines.
According to some European officials, there’s a possibility of sabotage. Russians who developed the network also did not completely rule it out.
Terje Aasland, the Norwegian minister of petroleum and energy, stated on Tuesday that the early evidence on the leaks pointed to “acts of sabotage.” Both the Swedish and Danish prime ministers, Magdalena Andersson and Mette Frederiksen, said the incident was probably “deliberate,” but they downplayed the likelihood of a military threat.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow,
“No option can be ruled out right now,”
In Europe, where nations have struggled to find alternate sources of energy to heat homes, generate power, and run factories, prices have soared as a result of declining Russian gas supplies.
The long-awaited opening of the Baltic pipeline, which will transport Norwegian gas to Poland in an effort to increase Europe’s energy independence from Moscow, is overshadowed by the leaks.
Both Nord 1 and 2 pipelines have been focal points in an ongoing energy spat between Moscow and European cities that has wreaked havoc on the biggest economies in the West, driven up gas prices, and triggered a search for other energy sources.
According to pipeline operator Nord Stream AG, it is presently impossible to predict “a timeframe for restoring the gas transport infrastructure,”
In a statement on Tuesday evening, he said that pressure drops in the pipeline suggested there had been physical damage.
Robert Habeck, the German Economy Minister stated that the German energy supply had not been affected while also stating that German, Danish, and Scandinavian security officials were actively monitoring the leaks in the Baltic Sea and inquiring into their cause.