As gas continued to flow into the Baltic Sea on the third day, Russia said it would investigate the damage to the Nord Steam gas pipelines as a case of “international terrorism”.
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) is investigating the damage as an “act of international terrorism,” local media reports said on Wednesday.
According to Russia, deliberate measures were taken to damage gas pipelines, causing significant economic damage to the country.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the leaks were “a major problem for Russia” and a loss of a valuable asset. He described allegations of Russia’s involvement as “predictable, absurd and stupid”.
Three leaks have been confirmed in the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea, which operator Nord Stream AG described as “unprecedented” damage.
Meanwhile, the European Union and NATO have also said the Nord Stream gas pipelines have been sabotaged, with NATO foreign policy chief Josep Borrell issuing a warning on Wednesday.
“Any deliberate disruption to Europe’s energy infrastructure is absolutely unacceptable and will be met with a robust and unified response,” Borrell said. “All available information indicates that these leaks are the result of a deliberate act.”
Russia and European partners spent billions of dollars building the Nord Steam pipelines, and it remains unclear who might be responsible for the sabotage.
Seismologists in Denmark and Sweden said Monday they detected two powerful explosions near the leaks, and the blasts were in the water, not below the sea floor.
The Nord Stream pipelines, which originate in Russia and run under the Baltic Sea to Germany, have been one of the flashpoints in an escalating energy war between Europe and Moscow following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, which has battered major Western economies and gas prices soared upwards.
Nord Stream 1, which has been running at reduced capacity since mid-June, stopped deliveries altogether in August. Meanwhile, despite being completed, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline was never commissioned.
The leak was first reported in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which the operator said had contained some gas despite not being commissioned. Later, the operator of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline also reported a pressure drop on both legs of the gas pipeline.
It was feared that the pipelines would become unusable if large amounts of salt water flowed in and caused corrosion.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council will meet on Friday at the request of Russia to discuss the damaged pipelines.
https://www.ibtimes.com.au/russia-investigate-nord-stream-gas-leaks-international-terrorism-report-1838923?utm_source=Public&utm_medium=Feed&utm_campaign=Distribution Russia investigates Nord Stream gas leaks as ‘international terrorism’: report