NATO chief calls Nord Stream leaks ‘sabotage’
The spills from the Nord Stream pipelines were acts of “sabotage,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after a meeting with Danish Defense Minister Morten Botskov in Brussels.
“We discussed the sabotage of the #NorthStream pipeline with the Minister of Defense of our valued ally, Denmark, Morten Botsko. We discussed protecting critical infrastructure in #NATO countries,” Stoltenberg said on his verified Twitter account.
Stoltenberg’s comments came after Swedish authorities warned of multiple leaks at the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, which run under the Baltic Sea near Sweden and Denmark. Between Europe and Russia.
Following the unexplained leak from Nord Stream gas pipelines, there are reasons to worry about the security situation in the Baltic Sea region, Botskov said after Wednesday’s meeting.
Vandalism was discussed #North stream Pipelines with Defense Minister @mfMorten of our valued partner #Denmark. We addressed the protection of critical infrastructure #I was born Countries. pic.twitter.com/GCRgVOTR2S
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) September 28, 2022
“Russia has a significant military presence in the Baltic Sea, and we expect it to continue its offensive,” Botskov said, his press office told CNN.
The two discussed what Stoltenberg called “vandalism” on Nord Stream pipelines and “addressed security of critical infrastructure in NATO countries,” Stoltenberg tweeted.
The Danish Defense Ministry said a total of three leaks – which cannot be ruled out as sabotage according to European leaders – have been discovered at the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, respectively, northeast and southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm.
These are two spills in Nord Stream 1 and one in Nord Stream 2, the press office told CNN.
The Danish Maritime Authority issued a shipping advisory and established a restricted area to prevent ships from entering areas near the spills.
Ships entering the zone could lose buoyancy and risk ignition above water and in the air, the press office said.
Accordingly, a restricted zone of 5 nautical miles has been created for ships and a restricted zone of 1 kilometer for aircraft.
“It is too early to draw conclusions about the causes of the incidents. But at the same time it is difficult to imagine that this was a coincidence. At this time we cannot rule out that this was a deliberate act,” Botskov said.
“Obviously, this is a very serious matter. That is why we are taking precautions and increasing our presence in the Bornholm area. Our authorities are doing everything possible in close cooperation with our partners to clarify the cause,” he added. .
Bodskov’s office confirmed to CNN that it could take a week or two for the area around the damaged Nord Stream spill to be investigated.
Several world leaders have raised concerns about the cause of the spill, with European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen calling the pipeline leaks an “act of sabotage” in a tweet on Tuesday.
Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Havisto said the damage to the pipelines was “extremely worrying”, while US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said if it was the result of an attack, “it’s clearly of no interest to anyone.