In a statement released in Brussels, the North Atlantic Council, the main political decision-making body of the NATO organization, begins by pointing out that “the damage caused to the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines in international waters in the Baltic Sea is a matter of deep concern ” and underline that “all the information currently available indicates that they are the result of deliberate, reckless and irresponsible acts of sabotage”.“These leaks are causing risks to navigation and substantial environmental damage. We support the ongoing investigations to determine the origin of the damage”, note the member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In a short two-point statement, the Allies warn that they are committed to deterring, preventing and defending “against the coercive use of energy and other hybrid tactics by state and non-state actors”.
“Any deliberate attack against critical Allied infrastructure would be met with a united and determined response,” warn the Allies.
The North Atlantic Council’s position comes on the day the Swedish coast guard confirmed it had discovered a new, smaller gas leak from the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea, bringing the number of leaks from the two Russian gas pipelines to four.
Until now, authorities in both countries had confirmed one leak in the area of the Baltic Sea belonging to Sweden, northeast of the island of Bornholm, and two in the area belonging to Denmark.
The leaks are causing significant tidal waves on the water surface, spanning several hundred meters, making immediate inspection of structures impossible, officials said.
Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the European Union (EU) and NATO allege that the Nord Stream leaks were caused by an “intentional act” and “sabotage”.
On Wednesday, the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said that all available information points to the fact that the leaks in the Nord Stream submarine gas pipelines were the result of sabotage, and warned that “any deliberate disruption of European energy infrastructures is totally unacceptable and will merit a robust and united response” from the EU.
For its part, the Kremlin described European accusations that Russia could be responsible for the damage detected in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines as “meaningless and absurd”, pointing the finger at the United States.
On Friday, the Security Council of the United Nations will meet at the request of Russia, regarding this sabotage, Sweden and France announced on Wednesday.
Ukraine on Tuesday accused Russia of responsibility for leaking gas pipelines, denouncing a “terrorist attack” against the EU.
The first Nord Stream, capable of pumping 55 billion cubic meters of gas a year, was stopped after Russia alleged an oil leak at the only Russian compressor station still in operation.
Nord Stream 2, on the other hand, never came into operation due to the blockade of infrastructure by Berlin, even before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.
However, both pipelines are filled with gas and therefore must maintain a stable pressure.
Source: Jornal de Negócios by www.jornaldenegocios.pt.
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