Sabotage cannot be ruled out as reason for Nord Stream damage, Kremlin says
Moscow: The Kremlin said on Tuesday that it did not rule out sabotage as a reason behind damage to the Russia-built network of Nord Stream pipelines which sprung unexplained leaks in the Baltic Sea.
The pipelines, designed to bring gas from Western Siberia’s Yamal Peninsula directly to Germany – Europe’s biggest economy – have been the focus of an energy war between Russia and its traditional European clients over the conflict in Ukraine.
Nord Stream AG, the operator of the network, said earlier on Tuesday that three offshore lines of the Nord Stream gas pipeline system sustained “unprecedented” damage in one day.
Asked if sabotage was the reason for the damage, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “No option can be ruled out right now.”
The Kremlin, Peskov said, was very concerned by the situation, which required prompt investigation as it was an issue affecting the energy security of the “entire continent”.
“This is a very concerning news. Indeed, we are talking about some damage of an unclear nature to the pipeline in Denmark’s economic zone,” Peskov said. “This is an issue related to the energy security of the entire continent.”
The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines have a joint annual capacity of 110 billion cubic metres – more than half of Russia’s normal gas exports volumes.
Sweden’s Maritime Authority issued a warning about two leaks in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, shortly after a leak on the nearby Nord Stream 2 pipeline was discovered that had prompted Denmark to restrict shipping in a five nautical mile radius.