Danish PM says govt views gas leaks as ‘deliberate actions’
WARSAW, Poland — Danish Prime Minister Metter Frederiksen says her government views the gas leaks off a Danish island in the Baltic Sea as “deliberate actions.”
Asked whether it was an attack on Denmark, Frederiksen replied Tuesday that the leaks happened in international waters and “the answer is thus no.”
Explosions rattled the Baltic Sea before the unusual leaks were discovered on two natural gas pipelines running underwater from Russia to Germany. Some European leaders and experts are pointing to possible sabotage during an energy standoff with Russia provoked by the war in Ukraine.
On Wednesday Morten Bodskov, the Danish defense minister, will travel to Brussels to meet Jens Stoltenberg, NATO chief. They will discuss the gas leaks.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATED. Below is an earlier story by AP.
WARSAW (AP) — The Baltic Sea was shaken Tuesday by explosions. Seismologists discovered unusual leaks in two natural gas pipelines that run underwater from Russia to Germany. Experts and leaders in Europe are suggesting that there was possible sabotage in an energy dispute with Russia. This is a result of the conflict over Ukraine’s energy.
The three leaks on the Nord Stream 2 and Nord Stream 1 pipelines, which are full of natural gas but do not deliver the fuel to Europe, overshadowed inauguration of a pipeline that will bring Norwegian gas into Poland, a long-awaited project to increase the continent’s energy independence.
The first explosion was heard early Monday morning on the Danish island Bornholm. This was according to Bjorn Lund (director of the Swedish National Seismic Network). The second, stronger blast that occurred northeast of the island on Monday night was equivalent in magnitude to a magnitude-2.3 earthquake. The explosions were also recorded by Finnish and Norwegian seismic stations.
” There is no doubt that this is not an earthquake,” Lund stated.
The gas leaks created a foamy area on the water’s surface. Images released by Denmark’s military prove this.
Polish Prime Min Mateusz Morawiecki referred to the events as “an act of sabotage,” while Mette Frederiksen, Denmark’s Prime Minister, said that she could not rule out the possibility. They and Andrzej Duba, the Polish President, opened the valve of the yellow Baltic Pipe pipe, which is a new system that sends Norwegian gas across the Baltic Sea to Poland.
” The Russian dominance in the gas sphere is ending,” Morawiecki stated. “An era that was marked by blackmail, threats and extortion.”
The escaped natural gas is made up almost entirely of methane. Climate change is second-most likely to be caused by methane, after carbon dioxide. David Hastings, a Gainesville, Florida chemical oceanographer, stated that much of the gas would rise through oceans and into the atmosphere. He stated that methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, has the greatest environmental impact.
According to the most recent report from the IPCC earlier this year, methane is 82.5 times worse for the climate than carbon dioxide over a 20-year time frame, because it so effectively absorbs the heat of the sun.
There is no evidence to support the Nord Stream’s problems. However, there was growing distrust in Russia and some feared that Moscow would sabotage its infrastructure to spite them or warn of their vulnerability to attack. The possibility that energy infrastructure was being targeted by Russia was raised when leaks occurred in international waters off the coasts of Denmark and Sweden. This led to a slight increase in natural gas prices.
” We can clearly see that it is an act of destruction, which probably means that there will be an escalation of the situation in Ukraine.” Morawiecki stated.
U.S. Secretary Antony Blinken stated to reporters that American officials had not confirmed sabotage and an attack.
Anders Puck Nielsen is a researcher at the Center for Maritime Operations of the Royal Danish Defence College. He said that the timing of the leaks was “conspicuous” considering the ceremony for the Baltic Pipe. According to analysts at the Eurasia group, the extent of the damage to the Nord Stream pipelines means that they will not be able transport any gas to Europe this winter, even if political will was to do so. Russia has halted flows on the 1,224-kilometer (760-mile) Nord Stream 1 pipeline during the war, while Germany prevented them from ever starting in the parallel Nord Stream 2.
“Depending on the scale of the damage, the leaks could even mean a permanent closure of both lines,” analysts Henning Gloystein and Jason Bush wrote. They noted that undersea pipes are designed so that they are not damaged accidentally and that leaks are rare.
Puck Nielsen stated that sabotage is technically possible. It doesn’t require a boat. It requires some divers that know how to handle explosive devices.”
“But I think if we look at who would actually benefit from disturbances, more chaos on the gas market in Europe, I think there’s basically only one actor right now that actually benefits from more uncertainty, and that is Russia,” he said.
Asked if the leaks may have been caused by sabotage, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “no version could be excluded.”
“This is an unprecedented situation that requires an urgent investigation. In a conference call with reporters, he stated that the news was “extremely worrying.”
The navigation warnings were issued by the Swedish and Danish maritime authorities. The Danish Emergency Management Agency installed equipment to measure the gas concentration in the air off the coast of Bornholm. Local police said “authorities assess that there are no safety or health risks.”
Denmark also established a prohibited area to ensure that ships avoid the leaks. Authorities stated that ships may lose buoyancy and that there could be ignition above the water or in the air.
Since the invasion of Ukraine in February, the Nord Stream pipelines have been the focus of an energy conflict between Russia and Europe. Prices have soared due to Russian gas supplies, which has prompted governments to ease the pain of skyrocketing energy bills for businesses and households as winter approaches. There are also fears of rationing or recession due to the crisis.
The Baltic Pipe is an important element in the European Union’s search for energy security. It will begin bringing Norwegian gas through Denmark, and along the Baltic Sea to Poland in October. 1.
Simone Tagliapietra is an energy expert at the Bruegel think-tank in Brussels. He speculated that the leaks might have been caused either by Russian sabotage, or anti-Russian sabotage.
Russia signaling that it “is breaking forever apart with Western Europe and Germany” by launching its pipeline with Norway, he suggested.
” “In any event, this is a stark reminder about the risk to Europe’s gas infrastructure,” Tagliapietra stated.
Andrzej Siloa, head of the Energy Studies Institute think-tank in Poland, stated that he has been warning about the possibility of attacks against pipeline infrastructure since the construction in 2010. of Nord Stream 1. He has been urging security measures for the Baltic Pipe, which crosses paths with both Nord Stream and Nord Stream pipelines.
Olsen reported from Copenhagen, Denmark, and Keyton from Stockholm. Contributing writers for Associated Press were Vanessa Gera in Warsaw and Adam Schreck in Kyiv. Ukraine. Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin and David McHugh, Frankfurt, Germany.
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