Following the Nord Stream pipeline system leaks, the US is ‘ready to provide support’ to Europe, according to AFP News. But was CIA behind the Nord Stream pipeline attack?
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Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, said that the Nord Stream pipeline system breaches were the result of “sabotage,” and threatened the “strongest possible response” in the event that operational European energy infrastructure was attacked.
Previously, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen labeled the three distinct breaches on NS1 and NS2 “deliberate acts,” adding, “It’s hard to imagine that it’s accidental.”
Swedish seismologists discovered underwater explosions on Monday; shortly thereafter, enormous patches of churning gas were visible on the surface in the same region.
One message the incident communicated was crystal clear: critical systems are susceptible to assault, regardless of the theories swirling about who is to blame.
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“The most important message that somebody wants to send, is what one is capable of doing with an offline pipeline can also be done with active pipelines, or undersea cables, or other infrastructure,” said Julian Pawlak, a researcher at the German Institute for Defense and Strategic Studies, in a statement to the NY Times.
Whereas Poland’s former Defense Minister appeared to thank the US for the strike (a perfectly reasonable clarification that we are quite certain will be provided), Poland’s Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, blamed Russia for targeting the pipelines, implying that the attack was an endeavor to ramp up the Ukraine conflict.
“We do not know the details of what happened yet, but we can clearly see that it is an act of sabotage,” said Morawiecki, adding “An act that probably marks the next stage in the escalation of this situation in Ukraine.”
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), according to the German magazine Spiegel, recently alerted Berlin about the growing likelihood of a deliberate attack on the Nord Stream pipeline network.
According to unidentified sources cited by Spiegel, the CIA informed Berlin about potential NS1 and NS2 assaults in the summer.
Update (1415 ET):
The damage to the NS1 and NS2 sections of the Nord Stream pipeline system, according to Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, “are deliberate actions, not an accident.”
Natasha Bertrand, a CNN White House and national security reporter, stated the Biden administration “is not going to speculate on the cause” of the Nord Stream pipeline system damage to NS1 and NS2.
It was reported by Kylie Atwood, a different CNN national security reporter, that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated it would be “in no one’s interest” if NS leaks were shown to be the product of an attack or act of sabotage.
Keep in mind what Victoria Nuland, the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, remarked earlier this year…
Following the Nord Stream pipeline system leaks, the US is ‘ready to provide support’ to Europe, according to AFP News.
There was no additional information on what kind of support will be provided, but it is only logical to assume that it would entail more LNG cargo supplies to the EU.
There is just one problem…
On Monday, the Swedish National Seismic Network recorded two underwater blasts near the Nord Stream pipeline system, according to Swedish broadcaster SVT.
These two seismic occurrences, according to Bjorn Lund, a professor of seismology and the director of the Swedish National Seismic Network, were explosions.
The three leaks on the Nord Stream pipeline system are shown on the following map.
According to Bloomberg’s Javier Blas, the extent of the “gas leak is huge.”
Therefore, the question of what or who caused the explosions remains.
Bear in mind what President Biden said prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:
According to Swedish daily newspaper Aftonbaldet, the Swedish Defense Force’s commander of operations, Michael Claesson, a link between the gas leaks and Russia’s mobilization last week cannot be ruled out.
Claesson went on to say that the incident was a “military matter.”
According to the Swedish daily newspaper Aftonbaldet, the Danish Defense Forces released the first pictures of the gas leaks from the Nord Stream pipeline system close to the exclusive economic zone southeast of Bornholm island.
The Baltic Sea appears to have a lot of gas bubbles on its surface in the early photographs.
More pictures of one of the leaks are shown here.
The Danish Defense Forces detected another leak on the surface water that was 1 kilometer in diameter.
This is an extremely large leak.
Several EU representatives believe the pipelines were sabotaged.
According to remarks from Foreign Minister Ann Linde, the Swedish government met with other public authorities to discuss crisis management in light of the damage to the Nord Stream pipeline system.
According to Linde, Sweden and Denmark may talk about the damaged pipeline later today.
As some European officials suspect the NS pipeline system was compromised, Denmark is stepping up security around all energy assets.
As some European officials now suspect sabotage, the mystery of what damaged three lines of the Nord Stream gas-pipeline system beneath the Baltic Sea to Europe deepens.
Nord Stream AG, the operator of the NS pipeline system, published a statement Tuesday that read, “the destruction that happened within one day at three lines of the Nord Stream pipeline system is unprecedented … and impossible now to estimate the timeframe for restoring operations of the gas shipment infrastructure.”
On Monday, the NS2 gas pipeline and two NS1 lines reported fast pressure decreases, and Swedish and Danish officials recorded gas leaks in the Baltic Sea in the exclusive economic zone southeast of Bornholm island.
A more detailed look at the incident scene.
Pressure decreases in the NS gas-pipeline system could be the most telling clue that NS1 flows may not return this winter. Germany and neighboring countries are looking into the situation. NS2 has no influence on EU flows because the contentious idled conduit was never active when German Chancellor Olaf Scholz cancelled it following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.
The president of Germany’s energy network regulator, Klaus Mueller, stated that the market remained “tense,” but that Germany and the EU are no longer reliant on NS supply.
Nord Stream AG has released an outage notification that will remain in effect until October 26, while the German economy ministry has stated that it is investigating the matter.
On Tuesday morning, the European benchmark, Dutch front-month gas, was up nearly 10% at 190.50 euros per megawatt-hour.
The concurrent drop in pressure of the NS lines indicates that certain market participants may be on the lookout for any signs of sabotage.
Mette Frederiksen, Denmark’s Prime Minister, stated it was difficult to believe the NS gas leaks were the result of a “coincidence.”
According to Reuters, Frederiksen could not exclude out sabotage during a visit to Poland, but she claimed it was too early to make any conclusions.
According to a German security officer, the NS damage appears to be the consequence of “sabotage.”
According to the German daily Tagesspiegel, “the Nord Stream pipelines may have been damaged by targeted attacks and leaked as a result.”
According to a government source reported in the publication, “everything speaks against a coincidence.”
Another German publication, Die Welt, reported that the timeframe of the NS damage suggested sabotage and was improbable to be a coincidence.
Reporters questioned Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov about the possibility of sabotage in the NS system. “It is impossible to exclude any options.” he replied.
As reported by the Danish national daily newspaper Berlingske, which cited the Danish Energy Authority, there seems to be no abrupt end to the gas leak from NS pipes.
The energy authority said, “a lot of gas is coming out, so it is not a small crack, it’s a really big hole. Nord Stream leaks can be a deliberate act, but it can also be something else, it’s just extremely rare that something like this happens.”