Gas Leaks In Russian Pipelines To Europe Ignite Sabotage Fears


Gas Leaks In Russian Pipelines To Europe Ignite Sabotage Fears

Europe was investigating leaks in two Russian gas pipelines that churned up the Baltic Sea with bubbles on Tuesday and raised concerns from Copenhagen to Moscow about sabotage on infrastructure at the heart of a European energy standoff.

But it remained far from clear who might be behind any foul play, if proven, on the Nord Stream pipelines that Russia with European partners spent billions of dollars building.

Poland's prime minister blamed sabotage, without citing evidence, and the Danish premier said it could not be ruled out.

Russia, which has slashed gas deliveries to Europe after the West imposed sanctions, said sabotage was a possibility and the incident undermined the continent's energy security. A senior Ukrainian official called it a Russian attack to destabilise Europe, without giving proof.

The Nord Stream pipelines have been flashpoints in an escalating energy war between European capitals and Moscow that has pummelled major Western economies, sent gas prices soaring and sparked a hunt for alternative energy supplies. 

Sweden's Maritime Authority issued a warning about two leaks in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, the day after a leak on the nearby Nord Stream 2 pipeline was discovered that prompted Denmark to restrict shipping and impose a small no fly zone.

Denmark's armed forces released a video showing bubbles boiling up to the surface of the sea. The largest gas leak had caused a surface disturbance of well over 1 km (0.6 mile) in diameter, the armed forces said.

"Today we faced an act of sabotage, we don't know all the details of what happened, but we see clearly that it's an act of sabotage, related to the next step of escalation of the situation in Ukraine," Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said at the opening of a new pipeline between Norway and Poland.

Source: Reuters