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The NATO alliance issued a joint statement on Thursday calling the Nord Stream pipeline leaks a “deliberate and reckless” act of sabotage and called for an investigation.
NATO’s statement came hours after a fourth leak was discovered along the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipeline systems on Thursday. The first three leaks occurred and were discovered within 24 hours on Tuesday.
“The damage to the Nordstream 1 and Nordstream 2 pipelines in international waters in the Baltic Sea is of great concern,” NATO wrote in a statement. “All information currently available indicates that this is the result of deliberate, reckless and irresponsible acts of sabotage.”
“These leaks are causing risks to shipping and substantial environmental damage,” the statement continued. “We support the ongoing investigations to determine the origin of the damage.”
The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipeline systems lie at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Two of the four leaks were discovered in Sweden’s exclusive economic zone, while the other two were in Danish waters. Sweden discovered a hole in its NS1 pipes and the other hole in its NS2 pipes. Denmark experienced the same.
Seismologists say they recorded explosions near the pipes before the leaks.
NORD STREAM PIPELINE EXPLOSIONS WERE LIKELY FROM EXPLOSIONS, NOT EARTHQUAKES, SAYS SEISMOLOGIST
None of the piping systems were operational at the time of the explosions. NS1 had been operating at just 20% capacity since July and stopped service entirely at the end of August. The operators stated that international sanctions against Russia had made maintenance impossible.
Meanwhile, NS 2 never entered official operation as Germany refused to certify its completion last year. The project was completely stopped just a few days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Accusations have flown across Europe and the world after the leaks, with Ukraine arguing that Russia is to blame. Moscow dismissed the accusation on Wednesday.
“It’s pretty predictable and also predictably stupid to give voice to these kinds of narratives, predictably stupid and absurd,” Peskov said. “This is a big problem for us because, first of all, both lines of Nord Stream 2 are full of gas: the whole system is ready to pump gas and gas is very expensive… Now the gas is blown into the air.” .”
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“Are we interested in that? No we are not, we have lost a route for gas supply to Europe,” he continued.