Nord Stream: Swedish Coast Guard captures gas leak
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In new frightening footage of the leaks, Sweden’s coast guards captured the sheer amount of gas being released from the underwater pipelines, which were mysteriously blasted on Tuesday. Foam can be seen forming on the surface of the Baltic Sea, as gas leaks from the Nord Stream 1 pipeline just off the coast of the Danish island of Bornholm. The natural catastrophe could last for at least a week, Danish authorities have warned.
Two explosions followed by three unexplained leaks took place at two key pipelines transporting natural gas from Russia to Europe on Tuesday, prompting claims of sabotage.
The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the attacks would result in the “strongest possible response”, but the EU leader fell short of accusing Russia directly.
She had previously accused Russia of using gas supplies and the Nord Stream pipeline as weapons against the EU.
European Council President Charles Michel tweeted: “Nord Stream sabotage acts appears to be an attempt to further destabilise energy supply to [the] EU.”
However, the Kremlin rebuffed any suggestion the Kremlin might be behind the incident a few miles from Denmark.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said: “It’s quite predictable and also predictably stupid to give voice to these kinds of narratives – predictably stupid and absurd.
“Before making any claims, we should wait for investigation into these ruptures, whether there was an explosion or not,” the Russian official stressed.
While the EU has so far refrained from blaming anyone, Ukraine targeted Russia, saying the leaks were a “terrorist attack” perpetrated by Moscow.
Though the culprit behind the sabotage remains unknown, experts say Russia appears as the only possible option.
Anders Aslund, author of “Russia’s Crony Capitalism: The Path from Market Economy to Kleptocracy”, said the attack could only be man-made and launched by submarines.
He tweeted: “The obvious culprit in the Nord Stream explosions appears to be GUGI (Glavnoe Upravlenie Glubokikh Issledovanii) in St. Petersburg, which has mini-subs (known from Soviet submarine incursions into Sweden).”
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Security and defence expert Michael Clarke told Sky News: “The only possible government that could gain from this in a rather peculiar way is Russia. None of the European governments would want to do this. So, privately, everyone this is a Kremlin-inspired piece of sabotage.”
Benjamin Schmitt, the former energy security advisor at the US Department of State, told DW News: “It very likely is some sort of man-made incident.
“With these unexpected incidents, you have the situation where Russia is now already threatening to cut off gas through Ukraine and may try to use that to leverage and undermine Western solidarity.”
The Swedish police has opened an investigation into “sabotage” that will only start after the gas leaks end.
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