Terrorism, Sabotage, or Accident? Blasts precede Baltic pipeline leaks, sabotage seen likely

Denmark said Tuesday it believed “deliberate actions” by unknown perpetrators were behind big leaks, which seismologists said followed powerful explosions, in two natural gas pipelines running under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.

European leaders and experts pointed to possible sabotage amid the energy standoff with Russia provoked by the war in Ukraine. Although filled with gas, neither pipeline is currently supplying it to Europe.

“It is the authorities’ clear assessment that these are deliberate actions -– not accidents,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said.

But she added that “there is no information indicating who could be behind it.” Frederiksen also rejected the suggestion that the incident was an attack on Denmark, saying the leaks occurred in international waters.

The incident overshadowed the inauguration of a long-awaited pipeline that will bring Norwegian gas to Poland to bolster the continent’s energy independence from Moscow.

The first explosion was recorded early Monday southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm, said Bjorn Lund, director of the Swedish National Seismic Network. A second, stronger blast northeast of the island that night was equivalent to a magnitude-2.3 earthquake. Seismic stations in Denmark, Norway and Finland also registered the explosions.

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