US Is Supporting Investigation of ‘Apparent Sabotage’ of Gas Pipelines
- US security advisor is speaking to his Danish counterpart about the “apparent sabotage” of the Nord Stream pipelines.
- The US is supporting investigation efforts and will continue safeguarding Europe’s energy security, he said.
- German officials believe the key pipelines were sabotaged.
US national security adviser Jake Sullivan commented on the “apparent sabotage” of the key Nord Stream gas pipelines connecting Russia and Europe, and underscored the US’ efforts to aid in the investigation of the September 26 incident.
“I spoke to my counterpart Jean-Charles Ellermann-Kingombe of Denmark about the apparent sabotage of Nord Stream pipelines,” Sullivan tweeted Tuesday night. “The U.S. is supporting efforts to investigate and we will continue our work to safeguard Europe’s energy security,” he added.
—Jake Sullivan (@JakeSullivan46) September 28, 2022
The leak in Nord Stream 2 was discovered in the Danish part of the Baltic Sea on Monday, the Danish Energy Agency wrote in an announcement. “The Danish Maritime Authority has released a navigational warning and established a prohibitive no sail zone around the area,” the agency added.
A press representative for the Swedish Maritime Authority told Insider the agency was informed about one leak on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm. Later the same day, it learned of two separate leaks on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline northeast of Bornholm.
Sullivan’s comments echo similar statements from Germany, where government officials believe the pipelines were sabotaged.
Der Tagesspiegel, a newspaper in Germany, reported a government source as saying: “We can’t imagine a scenario that isn’t a targeted attack. Everything speaks against a coincidence.” A spokesperson for Germany’s economy ministry told Insider it “doesn’t participate in speculation.” Germany’s energy regulator, the Federal Network Agency, said in an email it was in the process of clarifying the situation.
Later Tuesday, Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen said it was “difficult to imagine” the damage was accidental.
On Tuesday, the Kremlin also said it couldn’t rule out sabotage, per Reuters.
Following the incident, governments around the region issued warnings to ships to not sail within five nautical miles of the leaks.
The Danish Navy sent an Absalon-class frigate to the site of the leaks for monitoring purposes and to warn ships to stay away, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation reported Tuesday. A no-fly zone is in operation over the affected area, a German government official told Insider yesterday.
The incidents on the Nord Stream pipelines could exacerbate Europe’s energy crisis this winter, given that Russia typically supplies about 40% of Europe’s natural gas, most of which is transported via pipelines.
Russian state-controlled gas giant Gazprom completely turned off gas supply to Europe via Nord Stream 1 in September, citing technical reasons.
The Nord Stream 2 natural-gas pipeline, which runs parallel to Nord Stream 1, has never been operational because Germany shelved the project in February, days before Russia invaded Ukraine. Construction on the $11 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline was completed in September 2021.