There are currently two gas leaks in Swedish waters, a larger leak above North Stream 1, and a smaller leak above North Stream 2, according to the Swedish Coast Guard. Two leaks have also been reported in Danish waters.
The Coast Guard received the first information concerning the gas leaks at the two major Russian underwater pipelines designed to ship natural gas to Germany, on the evening of Monday the 26th of September. Although neither pipeline was in use at the time of the suspected blasts, they were filled with gas that has been spewing out and bubbling to the surface of the Baltic Sea since Monday.
The incidents come in the midst of escalating tensions between the European Union and Russia over the war in Ukraine. NATO issued a statement today expressing its deep concern over the damage to the two pipelines.
“All currently available information indicates that this is the result of deliberate, reckless, and irresponsible acts of sabotage. These leaks are causing risks to shipping and substantial environmental damage. We support the investigations underway to determine the origin of the damage,” said the statement of NATO.
“We, as Allies, have committed to prepare for, deter and defend against the coercive use of energy and other hybrid tactics by state and non-state actors. Any deliberate attack against Allies’ critical infrastructure would be met with a united and determined response,” warned NATO.
The EU issued a statement in a similar tone: “We will support any investigation aimed at getting full clarity on what happened and why, and will take further steps to increase our resilience in energy security. Any deliberate disruption of European energy infrastructure is utterly unacceptable and will be met with a robust and united response.”
In the meantime, the crew of the Swedish Coast Guard vessel, which is in the vicinity of the two gas leaks report a constant flow of gas to the sea surface. Now they are monitoring the leak to see if it in increases or reduces and assists the maritime traffic in order for safe and secure passage in the area.