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Nord Stream sabotage? Russia launches terrorism investigation – US calls allegations “ridiculous”

2022-09-29T03:00:15.146Z

Nord Stream sabotage? Russia launches terrorism investigation – US calls allegations “ridiculous” Created: 09/29/2022, 04:50 By: Julia Volkenand, Stefanie Fischhaber, Patricia Huber The Russian gas connection Nord Stream 1 also has problems with the gas pressure. A leak in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline had previously been identified. The news ticker. Russia has technical capabilities for sabotage



Nord Stream sabotage?

Russia launches terrorism investigation – US calls allegations “ridiculous”

Created: 09/29/2022, 04:50

By: Julia Volkenand, Stefanie Fischhaber, Patricia Huber

The Russian gas connection Nord Stream 1 also has problems with the gas pressure.

A leak in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline had previously been identified.

The news ticker.

  • Russia

    has

    technical capabilities for sabotage:

    several submarines and underwater drones would be able to cause such damage.

  • Energy expert expresses

    "worrying" conclusion

    : If Russia had sabotaged the lines, that would be a "clear signal".

  • Russia denies allegations: The Russian Foreign Ministry accuses

    Joe Biden

    of sabotage.

  • This news ticker on the

    pressure drop in the gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2

    is continuously updated.

Update from September 28, 10:05 p.m .:

After the three leaks in the Nord Stream pipelines, according to the Danish energy authority, more than half of the gas has already escaped from the affected lines.

The lines are expected to be empty on Sunday, as the head of the authorities, Kristoffer Böttzauw, said at a press conference on Wednesday.

According to calculations by the authority, the climate impact of the gas leak corresponds to around one third of Denmark's total climate impact in one year.

A concrete health risk for the population - especially on the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm - does not exist, it said.

The Danish authorities shared the EU and NATO assessment that the leaks were sabotage.

Alleged sabotage Russia launches terrorism investigation

Update from September 28, 8:16 p.m .:

According to its own statements, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has initiated proceedings for international terrorism because of the alleged sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines.

"No later than September 26, 2022, in the area of ​​the island of Bornholm, intentional acts aimed at damaging the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines laid on the Baltic Sea floor were committed," the Russian Prosecutor General's Office said on Wednesday on its Telegram channel.

Moscow justified the step by saying that the damage to the pipelines had "inflicted considerable economic damage on Russia".

Gazprom pumped gas to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline until the end of August, but then stopped these deliveries, citing technical problems that allegedly could not be solved due to sanctions.

The federal government called the reason advanced and suspected political motives behind the delivery stop.

Sabotage?

Moscow accuses Washington of interference in the Nord Stream leak

Update from September 28, 6:03 p.m

.: In view of the leaks in the Nord Stream pipes, the Russian Foreign Ministry indicated that US President Joe Biden could have ordered sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipelines.

"The US President must answer the question of whether the United States has implemented its threat," wrote Maria Zakharova in the online service Telegram.

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Zakharova referred to statements made by Biden in February during a visit to Washington by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD).

Several weeks before the start of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, Biden warned that if Russia invaded the neighboring country, "then there will be no more Nord Stream 2".

He "promises" that, emphasized the President, without giving any further details.

"We will put an end to this."

The US government dismissed Russia's insinuations as "ridiculous."

"We all know that Russia has a long history of spreading misinformation, and it's doing it again here," said White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson.

Damage to Nord Stream gas pipelines: repair pending

Update from September 28, 4:26 p.m.:

It is not yet clear whether the Nord Stream 1 pipeline can be repaired again.

For an accurate assessment, the damage would first have to be assessed, explains the operator of the gas pipeline.

There are experiences and providers for possible work.

Before a course of action can be determined, however, the damage must be examined.

So far there are no pictures of the actual leaks.

They want to inspect the damage as soon as possible, but that requires the authorities to lift the restricted zones that have been imposed.

However, according to the Danish government, this could take another week or two.

According to Nord Stream 2 AG, the exact damage to its largely parallel pipeline is still unknown.

"No one can seriously say at the moment what it looks like down there" and what technical possibilities there are now, said spokesman Ulrich Lissek.

The extent can only be estimated based on the extensive formation of bubbles.

"The structural integrity of the pipeline must be massively damaged." He spoke of a possible "giant crack".

Russia has technical capabilities for sabotage

Update from September 28, 3:10 p.m .:

So far, government officials have largely held back with assumptions about the question of guilt in the gas leaks.

However, the suspicion that Russia is behind the sabotage is high.

As the

Daily Mail

reports, the country definitely has the technical capabilities to damage such lines.

Russia has the largest spy submarine fleet in the world.

There are also underwater drones.

Both of these opportunities could be used to damage underwater infrastructure.

But the Kremlin has denied allegations that Russia is responsible for the leaks at the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines.

"It is quite predictable, stupid and absurd to make such assumptions," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday, according to the Interfax agency.

In Ukraine, there have been allegations that Russia deliberately sabotaged the pipelines to exacerbate Europe's energy crisis and spark pre-winter panics.

Energy expert issues 'worrying' conclusion

Update from September 28, 12:15 p.m.:

Who was it?

This is probably the question that has been asked the most since the discovery of the gas leaks.

Experts and government officials from a number of countries are certain that it was not an accident but deliberate sabotage.

The energy professor Lion Hirth from the Hertie University in Berlin also sees it that way.

He analyzed the situation on his Twitter account – and came to a fairly clear conclusion.

For Hirth, it is extremely unlikely that Ukraine damaged the two pipelines.

Finally, this could have implications for EU members' support for Ukraine.

The professor also excludes NATO members.

"It's hard to imagine a NATO member doing something like that, even by those most critical of the pipeline projects."

That leaves only Russia.

"If that's true, that's pretty worrying.

At least it means that Russia is burning the bridges: it is sending the clearest signal that it will stop supplying gas in the near future," Hirth wrote on Twitter.

But he is even more critical of the vulnerability of the energy infrastructure, which was revealed with this gas leak.

"A similar attack on a pipeline from Norway to the UK, Germany or Poland would have a huge impact on Europe's gas supplies."

Swedish Coast Guard provides new gas leak images

Update September 28, 11:40 a.m

.: The Swedish Coast Guard has posted new images of one of the gas leaks in the sea.

It clearly shows the force with which the gas bubbles out of the water.

On Twitter, users are shocked by the video clip.

A user writes: "It looks terrible".

But the Coast Guard gives the all-clear, at least temporarily.

On her website she writes: "Due to the current situation, it is not possible to limit or combat the release, but the gas is gradually dissolving both in water and in the air."

FDP politician calls for protection of the gas pipelines to Norway

Update from September 28, 10:19 a.m .:

After the leaks in the Osteee gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2, the FDP energy politician Michael Kruse believes that effective protection of other pipelines is necessary.

They would have to be protected from "sabotage and attacks", Kruse told the German Press Agency on Wednesday.

“In the North and Baltic Seas, the gas pipelines to Norway must be secured because they are of paramount importance for German and European gas supplies.

However, we must also protect pipelines in the Mediterranean and on the mainland effectively, because they are also important for Europe's energy supply.”

According to Kruse, pipelines and LNG terminals must be monitored, protected and secured against possible attacks day and night.

"An attack on our energy infrastructure is an attack on our country and on the European Union."

The EU considers sabotage to be likely and threatens to take countermeasures

Update from September 28, 8:54 a.m .:

The EU considers sabotage to be the cause of the leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines and has threatened countermeasures.

"All available information indicates that these leaks are the result of a deliberate act," said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Wednesday on behalf of the 27 member states.

Any intentional disruption to Europe's energy infrastructure will "be met with a robust and collective response."

Update from September 28, 6:49 a.m .:

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen considers the leaks in the Baltic Sea pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2 from Russia to Germany to be an “act of sabotage”, as a post on Tuesday evening on Twitter revealed.

It is now of utmost importance to investigate the incidents in order to get "complete clarity" on what happened and the background.

"Any intentional disruption of active European energy infrastructure is unacceptable and will result in the strongest possible response," warned the Commission President.

Poland, Denmark, Sweden, but also Russia, also attribute the leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines to sabotage.

Ukraine described the incidents as a "terrorist attack planned by Russia" and spoke of an act of "aggression towards the EU," according to adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office, Mykhailo Podolyak, on Tuesday.

CIA is said to have warned the federal government weeks ago of attacks on Baltic Sea pipelines

Update from September 27, 9:43 p.m .: According to a report by

Der Spiegel

, the CIA had warned the German government

weeks ago of possible attacks on the Baltic Sea pipelines.

Such a tip from the US foreign intelligence service was received in Berlin in the summer, the report said on Tuesday, citing “people familiar with the matter”.

Uppsala University seismologist Peter Schmidt told AFP the Swedish National Seismic Network had recorded two "massive energy release" events near Bornholm.

The cause "can only be an explosion".

Update from September 27, 7:13 p.m .:

Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck initially expressed caution on Tuesday about the leaks in the Baltic Sea pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2. Speculations about the causes are prohibited as long as the clarification has not yet taken place, emphasized the Green politician.

Photo provided by the Danish Defense Command shows the Nord Stream 2 gas leak near Bornholm from the air.

© Danish Defense Command/dpa

When asked how worried he was in general about attacks on the energy grid, Habeck said: "Of course we are in a situation in Europe and also in Germany, where critical infrastructure - and the energy supply as a whole - are potential targets." This has already been seen on a smaller scale, he said, referring to wind farms.

"Of course, the critical infrastructure is a potential target, but we didn't just know that since yesterday, it has been the basis of our work for months."

Ukraine blames Russia for leaks at Nord Stream 1 and 2

Update from September 27, 6:12 p.m .:

Ukraine blames Russia for the leaks in the two Nord Stream pipelines.

"This is nothing more than an act of terrorism planned by Russia and an act of aggression against the EU," Ukraine's presidential office external adviser Mykhailo Podoliak wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

Moscow wants to destabilize the economic situation in Europe and create "panic before winter".

After three leaks in just a short time on the Baltic Sea gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2, an act of sabotage cannot be ruled out.

In Poland, Russia and Denmark, a targeted attack on the European gas infrastructure is believed to be the cause of the unprecedented damage to both pipelines.

The exact cause of the damage is still unclear.

German and Danish authorities pointed out that the incidents had no impact on the gas supply, as the pipelines had not recently been used for gas imports.

Update from September 27, 4:12 p.m .:

According to a media report, measuring stations in Sweden and Denmark recorded powerful detonations under water before the Nord Stream gas leaks in the Baltic Sea.

"There is no doubt that these are blasts," seismologist Björn Lund from the Swedish Seismological Network (SNSN) told Swedish radio station SVT on Tuesday.

"You can see very clearly how the waves are bouncing from the bottom of the sea to the surface."

There were two clear detonations in the area on Monday, the broadcaster reported, citing the network – one at 2:03 a.m. and a second at 7:04 p.m. in the evening.

The first images show the extent of the damage to the pipelines

Update from September 27, 3:43 p.m .:

New images from the Danish Navy show how the gas escapes in the sea.

The Danish Navy's website states: "After the three gas leaks occurred on the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, restricted zones were established around the leaks for reasons of shipping and air traffic safety."

The images from the Danish armed forces show the gas escaping at sea.

© Screenshot/Twitter @forsvaretdk

Ships and helicopters are in the area to patrol the restricted zones.

Video taken from a helicopter reads: "The largest gas leak causes surface turbulence a little over 1 kilometer in diameter.

The smallest makes a circle of about 200 meters.”

Zelenskyj adviser sees gas leak as "planned terrorist attack"

Update from September 27, 3:25 p.m.:

An adviser to the Ukrainian President Selenskyj takes a clear stance on the gas leaks in the two pipelines on Twitter.

"The NS-1 'gas leak' is nothing more than a terrorist attack planned by Russia and an act of aggression towards the EU," writes Mykhailo Podolyak on the short message service.

He further writes: "Russia wants to destabilize the economic situation in Europe and trigger a pre-winter panic." The best response and security investment would be to supply Ukraine with tanks.

"Especially the Germans..." he adds.

Gas price rises as a result of problems with the Nord Stream pipelines

Update from September 27, 2:14 p.m .:

The problems with the Russian gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2 are also causing movement on the gas exchange.

As a result of the reports about the pressure drop, the gas price rose again.

The European future rose by a good ten percent on Tuesday to EUR 191.70.

In the meantime, the price even jumped to 194.74 euros.

The problems with the lines have probably raised concerns about the gas infrastructure in Europe.

Before that, the market had calmed down a bit and the price made a bottom.

Kremlin "extremely concerned" about the incident

Update from September 27, 1:07 p.m .: Given

the leaks in the Nord Stream gas pipelines, Russia does not rule out sabotage or other reasons.

"Now no variant can be ruled out," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday when asked whether sabotage could be the reason for the pressure drop.

“Obviously there is a destruction of the line.

As for the reason for this, until the results of the investigations emerge, you cannot rule out any variant," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to the Russian news agency Interfax.

Pipe systems and shut-off devices in the gas receiving station of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline in Lubmin.

© Stefan Sauer/dpa

The Kremlin is "extremely concerned" about the pressure drop in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 Baltic Sea pipelines. The news is alarming.

The damage to the lines would have to be investigated.

"This is an absolutely unprecedented situation that needs to be clarified quickly," said Peskow.

Security experts suspect sabotage of Nord Stream pipelines

Update from September 27, 11:45 a.m .:

The leaks in the Baltic Sea gas pipeline Nord Stream 1 occurred in Danish and Swedish territorial waters.

As with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, the gas exits near the island of Bornholm, which belongs to Denmark, as the authorities of both countries announced on Tuesday.

One leak in Nord Stream 1 is therefore on Danish territory and the other on Swedish territory.

Authorities in Germany and Denmark continue to look for the cause of the two leaks.

The Danish Navy and German specialists were trying to find out, the German Press Agency learned from security circles on Tuesday morning.

The cause of the incidents has not yet been clarified.

However, there is a lot to be said for sabotage.

If it were an attack, given the technical complexity, only a state actor would actually come into question.

After Nord Stream 2: Also pressure drop in sister pipeline Nord Stream 1

First report from September 26, 1:32 p.m.:

Lubmin – One day after the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, the pressure has also fallen sharply in the German-Russian Nord Stream 1 energy route.

Both tubes of Nord Stream 1 are affected, as the company announced on Monday evening.

As a result, the capacity of the pipeline fell to zero unplanned.

The cause is being investigated.

The Federal Ministry of Economics (BMWK) and the Federal Network Agency unanimously announced that they were in contact with each other and with the authorities concerned in order to clarify the matter.

"We currently do not know the causes of the pressure drop," it said.

Nord Stream 2 first hit by pressure problems

Such a pressure drop had already been detected in the sister pipeline Nord Stream 2 on Monday night, but only in one of the two tubes.

During the course of Monday, the responsible naval authorities identified a leak southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm as the probable cause.

The Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2 has long been controversial - now there was a night-time incident in one of the tubes.

© Jens Büttner/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa

The competent Danish authority issued a corresponding notice on Monday afternoon.

A gas leak was observed.

The leak is said to be dangerous to navigation and navigating within five nautical miles of said position is prohibited.

From the point of view of the German Environmental Aid (DUH), there is no major danger to the environment, at least in the short term.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2022-09-29

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