September 28, 2022 Russia-Ukraine News

Leaks from Nord Stream pipelines are acts of “sabotage”, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after a meeting with Danish Defense Minister Morten Bodskov in Brussels.

“Discussed #NorthStream pipeline sabotage with Defense Minister Morten Bodskov of our valued ally Denmark. We discussed critical infrastructure protection in #NATO countries,” Stoltenberg said on his Twitter account. checked.

Stoltenberg’s comments came after Swedish authorities warned of multiple leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines – which both pass under the Baltic Sea near Sweden and Denmark, and have been major hotspots in the energy war between Europe and Russia.

There is cause for concern about the security situation in the Baltic Sea region following unexplained leaks in Nord Stream pipelines, Bodskov said after Wednesday’s meeting.

“Russia has a significant military presence in the Baltic Sea region and we expect it to continue its saber-thumping,” Bodskov said, his press office told CNN.

The pair discussed what Stoltenberg called “sabotage” on Nord Stream pipelines and “addressed critical infrastructure protection in NATO countries,” Stoltenberg tweeted.

The Danish Ministry of Defense said a total of three leaks – which European leaders say cannot be considered sabotage – were discovered on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, respectively in the northeast and southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm.

There are two Nord Stream 1 leaks and one Nord Stream 2 leak, the press office told CNN.

The Danish Maritime Authority has issued a shipping warning and established a no go zone to ensure ships do not enter areas near the leaks.

Vessels can lose buoyancy if they enter the area and there may be a risk of ignition above water and in the air, the press office said.

A prohibited zone was then created with a radius of 5 nautical miles for ships and a prohibited zone of 1 kilometer for aircraft.

“It is too early to draw conclusions on the causes of the incidents. But at the same time, it’s hard to imagine this being pure coincidence. At this point, we cannot exclude that it was a deliberate action,” Bodskov said.

“Obviously this is a very serious matter. That is why we are now taking the precautions we are taking and increasing our presence in the Bornholm area. Our authorities are doing everything they can to clarify the cause, in close cooperation with our partners,” he added.

It could take a week or two before the areas around the damaged Nord Stream leaks are calm enough to be investigated, Bodskov’s office confirmed to CNN.

Many other world leaders have raised concerns about the cause of the leaks, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen calling the pipeline leaks an “act of sabotage” in a Tweeter tuesday.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said the damage to the pipelines was “very concerning”, while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that if the leaks were the result of an attack, “this clearly not in anyone’s interest.

Christi C. Elwood