Underwater explosions reported in Nord Stream gas leak area
The Swedish National Seismic Network (SNSN) confirms powerful underwater explosions in the area of the gas leaks from the Nord Stream pipeline.
The Swedish National Seismic Network (SNSN) reported powerful underwater explosions in the area of gas leaks from the Nord Stream pipeline on Tuesday.
SNSN director Bjorn Lund said, quoted by SVT that “there is no doubt that these we are exploding.”
“An explosion had a magnitude of 2.3 and was recorded by dozens of monitoring stations in southern Sweden,” he said.
“You can clearly see the waves bouncing from the bottom to the surface,” Lund added.
Earlier today, the Danish Ship Traffic Agency and the Swedish Maritime Authority reported on Monday a “dangerous” gas leak into the Baltic Sea near the route of the inactive Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which suffered a pressure drop. unexplained.
The leak, southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm, “is dangerous for maritime traffic” and “navigation is prohibited within a radius of five nautical miles from the reported position”, the agency warned in a Notice to Ships.
Authorities in Germany, where the undersea pipeline from Russia lands, said the power link experienced a drop in pressure, while its operator suggested a leak could be the cause.
A spokeswoman for Germany’s economy ministry said in a statement that there was “no clarity” on what caused the change in pressure.
The pipeline operator confirmed in a statement that the fall was recorded “overnight” on Monday and reported to national maritime authorities.
The operator of Nord Stream 2 mentioned that the pressure in the pipeline dropped from 105 to seven bars overnight.
“It is relatively likely that there is a leak” in the underwater pipeline, Nord Stream 2 spokesman Ulrich Lissek said. AFP.
He noted that “the pipeline was never used, just prepared for technical operation, and therefore filled with gas.”
Read more: Gazprom: Nord Stream 2 launch could solve EU energy crisis
Berlin suspects ‘targeted attack’: German newspaper
Following the incident, the German newspaper Tagesspiegel claimed on Monday that Berlin is convinced that the loss of pressure in the three gas pipelines between Russia and Germany was no coincidence and suspects a “targeted attack”.
The German newspaper quoted an informed source as saying that the German government and agencies investigating the incident “cannot imagine a scenario that is not a targeted attack”.
“Everything speaks against a coincidence,” the source said.
Tagesspiegel said that for a deliberate seabed attack to occur, it must involve special forces, navy divers or a submarine, adding that German authorities would examine two possible explanations for the incident. The first suggests that “forces affiliated with Ukraine” may be behind the attack, while the second suggests that Russia carried out the attack under a “false flag” to blame Ukraine.
The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, parallel to Nord Stream 1 and intended to double the capacity to import underwater gas from Russia, was blocked by Berlin in the days before the start of the war in Ukraine.
Russian energy giant Gazprom gradually reduced gas volumes delivered through the Nord Stream 1 until shutting down the pipeline completely in late August, blaming Western sanctions for delaying needed repairs to the pipeline.
Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who signed the first Nord Stream gas pipeline in his last days in office, called on Berlin to reconsider its stance on the blocked second link.
Monday afternoon, Nord Stream 2 would have been depressurized. Note that the Nord Stream 1 pipeline was depressurized at the start of the evening, simultaneously after the second of the two peaks.