Denmark believes “deliberate actions” caused large leaks in two natural gas pipelines running from Russia to Germany beneath the Baltic Sea, and seismologists said powerful explosions preceded the leaks.
European leaders and experts have raised the possibility of sabotage amid the energy standoff with Russia caused by the Ukraine conflict. Despite being full of gas, neither pipeline is currently supplying it to Europe.
“It is clear to the authorities that these are deliberate actions, not accidents,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Tuesday.
“There is no information indicating who could be behind it,” she added. Frederiksen denied that the incident was an attack on Denmark, claiming that the leaks occurred in international waters.
The incident overshadowed the long-awaited opening of a pipeline that will bring Norwegian gas to Poland, increasing the continent’s energy independence from Moscow.
According to Bjorn Lund, director of the Swedish National Seismic Network, the first explosion was recorded early Monday southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm. That night, a second, stronger blast northeast of the island was equivalent to a magnitude-2.3 earthquake. The explosions were also detected by seismic stations in Denmark, Norway, and Finland.
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