NATO Issues Warning About Nord Stream Pipeline 'Sabotage'

NATO Issues Warning About Nord Stream Pipeline 'Sabotage'
The gas leak in the Baltic Sea from Nord Stream photographed from the Coast Guard's aircraft on Sept. 27, 2022. (Swedish Coast Guard via AP)
Jack Phillips

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has formally labeled the damage to the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines as "acts of sabotage."

“All currently available information indicates that this is the result of deliberate, reckless, and irresponsible acts of sabotage,” NATO said in a Sept. 29 statement. "These leaks are causing risks to shipping and substantial environmental damage. We support the investigations underway to determine the origin of the damage."

Seismologists and other officials said that explosions were the likely cause of the damage to the pipelines, which carry Russian natural gas to Germany.

"NATO is committed to deter and defend against hybrid attacks," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter, adding that the alleged "sabotage of the Nordstream pipelines is of deep concern."

In its statement, the 27-nation bloc didn't say who might have been behind the leaks. The European Union also hasn't pointed to any nation.

Some Western government officials have suggested that Russia was behind the incident. However, Moscow has categorically denied those allegations and said it makes little sense to damage its own infrastructure and lose vast quantities of natural gas.

“It was a deliberate act and, in my opinion, it can very likely be linked to the push for constant provocation by the Kremlin,” Spanish Energy Minister Teresa Ribera told reporters on Sept. 29, according to Reuters. She didn't provide evidence for her claim.

'Terrorist Act'

Leaks from the two underwater pipelines have caused the release of millions of cubic tons of methane since they were reported earlier in the week. The pipelines currently weren't being operated but still contained large amounts of methane.
Earlier on Sept. 29, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that state-sponsored terrorism was behind the pipeline damage.

“This looks like some kind of terrorist act, possibly at the state level,” Peskov told reporters, according to TASS news. “This is an extremely dangerous situation that requires urgent investigation."

When asked on Sept. 28 about whether Russia was behind the leaks, Peksov described such allegations as "predictably stupid."

The NATO warning came as the Swedish coast guard confirmed a fourth leak on the pipelines off southern Sweden, which is in the process of joining NATO. The first leaks in the pipelines that extend from Russia to Germany were reported on Sept. 27, prompting energy companies and European governments to increase security.

The fear of further damage to Europe’s energy infrastructure has added pressure on natural gas prices, which had already been soaring. Russia, a major supplier to Europe, cut off deliveries earlier this year in retaliation for sanctions imposed after its invasion of Ukraine. That has caused widespread economic pain across the continent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
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