BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union suspects damage to two undersea natural gas pipelines was sabotage and warns of retaliation for any attacks on European energy networks, a senior official said Wednesday.
“All available information indicates that these leaks are the result of a deliberate act,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement on behalf of the 27-member bloc. “Any deliberate disruption of Europe’s energy infrastructure is completely unacceptable and will be met with a strong and united response.”
Seismologists reported on Tuesday that explosions rocked the Baltic Sea before unusual leaks were discovered at two undersea gas pipelines linking Russia with Germany.
Some European leaders and experts have pointed to possible sabotage given the energy standoff with Russia caused by the war in Ukraine. The three leaks were reported on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which are filled with natural gas but do not deliver the fuel to Europe.
The damage means pipelines are unlikely to be able to transport gas to Europe this winter, even if the political will to bring them online emerges, analysts say.
Borrell said the EU would support any damage investigation and “take further steps to increase our energy security resilience”.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said “the authorities clearly believe that these are deliberate actions – not accidents”.
But she said ‘there is no information as to who might be behind this’. Frederiksen dismissed the suggestion that the incident was an attack on Denmark, saying the leaks occurred in international waters.
Danish Defense Minister Morten Bodskov met NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday.