The leaks from the Nord Stream pipelines are acts of “sabotage,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after meeting Danish Defense Minister Morten Bodskov in Brussels.
“We have discussed the sabotage on the #NorthStream pipelines with Defense Minister Morten Bodskov of our valued Ally Denmark. We have discussed the protection of critical infrastructure in #NATO countries,” Stoltenberg said on his verified Twitter account.
Stoltenberg’s comments came after Swedish authorities warned of multiple leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines – both of which run under the Baltic Sea near Sweden and Denmark and have been major flashpoints in the energy war between Europe and Russia. .
There is cause for concern about the security situation in the Baltic Sea region following the unexplained leaks in the Nord Stream pipelines, Bodskov said on Wednesday after the meeting.
“Russia has a significant military presence in the Baltic Sea region and we expect them to continue their saber-clattering,” Bodskov told DailyExpertNews.
The two discussed what Stoltenberg called “sabotage” on the Nord Stream pipelines and “handled the protection of critical infrastructure in NATO countries,” Stoltenberg tweeted.
The Danish Defense Ministry said a total of three leaks have been discovered – which European leaders say cannot be ruled out as sabotage – on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, northeast and southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm, respectively. .
There are two leaks from Nord Stream 1 and one leak from Nord Stream 2, the press service told DailyExpertNews.
The Danish Maritime Authority has issued a navigation warning and established a restricted area to prevent ships from entering the zones near the spills.
Ships could lose buoyancy as they enter the area and there could be an ignition hazard above the water and in the air, the press service said.
Subsequently, a prohibited area was created with a radius of 5 nautical miles for ships and a prohibited area of 1 kilometer for aircraft.
“It is too early to draw conclusions about the causes of the incidents. But at the same time it is difficult to imagine that this is purely a coincidence. At the moment we cannot rule out that this is a deliberate action,” says Bodskov. said.”
“This is of course 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.
Numerous other world leaders have expressed concern about the cause of the leaks, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen calling the pipeline leaks a “act of sabotage” in a tweet on Tuesday.
Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said the damage to the pipelines is “deeply concerning”, while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that if the leaks were the result of an attack, “it is clearly in no one’s interest” .