European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen confirmed the Nord Stream pipeline system leaks were caused by “sabotage,” and warned of the “strongest possible response” should active European energy infrastructure be attacked.
Zero Hedge –
Earlier, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen described the three separate leaks on NS1 and NS2 as “deliberate acts,” adding: “It’s hard to imagine that it’s accidental.”
On Monday, Swedish seismologists reported the detection of underwater explosions – shortly after which large patches of roiling gas could be seen on the surface in the same area.
As rumors swirl over who is responsible for the incident, one message it sent was clear – vital systems are vulnerable to attack.
“The most important message that somebody wants to send, is what one is capable of doing with an offline pipeline can also be done with active pipelines, or undersea cables, or other infrastructure,” said Julian Pawlak, a researcher at the German Institute for Defense and Strategic Studies, in a statement to the NY Times.
In response, Denmark and Norway announced increased security around their energy infrastructure, and Norway, now Europe’s most important producer of gas and oil, called for “increased vigilance by all operators and vessel owners.” In a statement, Norway’s energy minister, Terje Aasland, cited “reports of increased drone activity” around its coast, and said that much of what he had learned of the Nord Stream incidents “indicates acts of sabotage.” -NY Times
And while Poland’s former Defense Minister appeared to thank the United States for the attack (a perfectly good explanation for which we’re sure is will be offered), Poland’s PM, Mateusz Morawiecki, laid the blame on Russia for targeting the pipelines – suggesting that the attack was an attempt to escalate the Ukraine conflict.
“We do not know the details of what happened yet, but we can clearly see that it is an act of sabotage,” said Morawiecki, adding “An act that probably marks the next stage in the escalation of this situation in Ukraine.”
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German magazine Spiegel said the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) recently warned Berlin about the increasing signs of a possible planned attack on the Nord Stream pipeline system.
Spiegel reported, citing unnamed sources, that the CIA tipped off Berlin in the summer about possible attacks on NS1 and NS2.
Update (1415 ET):
Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen told reporters Nord Stream pipeline system damage to NS1 and NS2 “are deliberate actions, not an accident.”
“It is now the clear assessment by authorities that these are deliberate actions. It was not an accident.
“There is no information yet to indicate who may be behind this action, Frederiksen said, adding that authorities don’t see NS1 and NS2 damage as a military threat against Denmark.