The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, stated late Tuesday night that the Nord Stream pipeline explosions were caused by sabotage and announced that she would give the “strongest possible response” in the event that “any attack on European energy infrastructure” occurs.
“I have spoken with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen about the Nordstream sabotage action”Von der Leyen wrote on his official Twitter account, adding that it is now essential to investigate the incidents to “know for sure what has happened and why.”
“Any deliberate disruption of active European energy infrastructure is unacceptable and will lead to the strongest possible response,” he warns in his message.
Spoke to @Statsmin Frederiksen on the sabotage action #Nordstream.
Paramount to now investigate the incidents, get full clarity on events & why.
Any deliberate disruption of active European energy infrastructure is unacceptable & will lead to the strongest possible response.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) September 27, 2022
The President of the Community Executive made these statements after speaking on the phone with the Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, whose government (like that of Sweden) has indicated that the leaks detected in those gas pipelines that link Russia with Germany are the result of “deliberate acts”.
“The clear assessment of the authorities is that it is an intentional act and not an accident”Frederiksen had previously pointed out at a press conference.
[Sospechas de sabotaje en el Nord Stream: Suecia detectó dos explosiones antes de las fugas]
His Swedish counterpart, Magdalena Andersonin another appearance in Stockholm, indicated that “probably” what happened is due to “sabotage”.
Neither of them wanted to speculate on the possible motive or on the perpetrator and both highlighted the seriousness of the incident, which has occurred near their territory but outside their borders. Nor has Von der Leyen wanted to point out anyone responsible.
NATO, Russia, the United States and Germany have also avoided guessing until they get more information about what happened.
The danger it poses
The Danish authorities have declared an emergency in the energy and gas sector as these gas leaks are “very dangerous for maritime and air traffic”.
[Fugas de gas y riesgo de explosión: la rotura del Nord Stream puede provocar un desastre ecológico]
Denmark has asked ships to stay away and at a distance of a radius of five nautical miles in front of the island of Bornholm, in the Baltic Sea. And it has prohibited planes from flying over the area.
“It is something unusual and I would like to say that we, as part of the Government and the authorities, take it very seriously,” said the Danish Prime Minister.
The adviser to the Ukrainian Presidency, Mijailo Podoliak, has gone further and has accused Russia of perpetrating “a planned terrorist attack”. According to him, with this “act of aggression”, Russia wants to “destabilize the economic situation” in Europe and “provoke panic before winter.” The “best response”, in his opinion, is to send more military aid to Ukraine.
From Russia, which built the gas network, they do not rule out sabotage either. “No version can be ruled out,” said the spokesman for the Russian Presidency, Dmitri Peskov. “We are very alarmed,” he added.