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Russia says Nord Stream likely hit by state-backed 'terrorism'

World Sep 30, 2022 01:51AM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pipes at the landfall facilities of the 'Nord Stream 1' gas pipeline are pictured in Lubmin, Germany, March 8, 2022. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo/File Photo 2/2
 
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By Sabine Siebold and Charlotte Van Campenhout

MOSCOW/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Russia said on Thursday that leaks spewing gas into the Baltic Sea from pipelines to Germany appeared to be the result of state-sponsored "terrorism", as an EU official said the incident had fundamentally changed the nature of the conflict in Ukraine.

The European Union is investigating the cause of the leaks in the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines and has said it suspects sabotage was behind the damage off the coasts of Denmark and Sweden.

Four days after the leaks were first spotted, it remains unclear who might be behind any attack on the pipelines that Russia and European partners spent billions of dollars building.

"This looks like an act of terrorism, possibly on a state level," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, adding: "It is very difficult to imagine that such an act of a terrorism could have happened without the involvement of a state of some kind".

Russia also said the United States stood to benefit, in a war of words with the West over who was responsible. Moscow has previously said the leaks occurred in territory that is "fully under the control" of U.S. intelligence agencies.

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing Washington would be able to boost its liquefied natural gas (LNG) sales if the pipelines were put out of use.

But U.S. news channel CNN, citing three sources, reported that European security officials had observed Russian navy support ships and submarines not far from the leaks.

Asked to comment on the CNN report, Peskov said there had been a much larger NATO presence in the area.

Zakharova called for an EU investigation to be "objective", and said Washington would have to "explain itself" - a reference to President Joe Biden's comment in February that, if Russia invaded Ukraine, "there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2".

The White House has dismissed Russian allegations that it was responsible for the damage to Nord Stream and Biden's comments were referring to efforts at the time to secure certification to bring Nord Stream 2 into commercial use.

Leaks from the Nord Stream 1 pipeline are likely to be stopped on Monday, the pipeline's operator told Reuters.

But the spokesperson for Nord Stream AG said it was not possible to give any forecasts for the pipeline's future operation until the damage had been assessed.

Russia had halted deliveries via Nord Stream 1, saying Western sanctions had hampered operations.

While neither pipeline was supplying gas to Europe when the leaks were first detected, both had gas in them.

Map: Leaks reported from Russian Nord Stream pipelines https://graphics.reuters.com/UKRAINE-CRISIS/ENERGY/xmpjozoewvr/leakage-map.jpg

'ROBUST RESPONSE'

EU leaders will discuss the ramifications of the damage next week at a summit in Prague, an EU official said.

"The strategic infrastructure in the entire EU has to be protected," the EU official in Brussels said.

"This changes fundamentally the nature of the conflict as we have seen it so far, just like the mobilisation ... and the possible annexation," the EU official said, referring to Russia's mobilising of more troops for the war and expectations President Vladimir Putin will annex Ukrainian regions.

Russia's war with Ukraine and the resulting energy standoff between Moscow and Europe, which has left the EU scrambling to find alternative gas supplies, are set to dominate the EU summit on Oct. 7.

The European Union on Wednesday warned of a "robust and united response" should there be more attacks and stressed the need to protect its energy infrastructure, but EU officials have avoided pointing a figure directly at possible perpetrators.

Next week, EU leaders will discuss an eighth sanctions package on Russia which European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen has proposed, including tighter trade restrictions, more blacklistings and an oil price cap for third countries.

The EU official said he expected the 27-nation bloc to agree parts of the sanctions package before the summit, such as the blacklisting of additional individuals and some of the trade restrictions with regard to steel and technology.

Other topics such as the oil price cap or the sanctioning of banks may not be solved before the summit, he added.

EU states need unanimity to impose sanctions and Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orban has been a vocal critic, saying sanctions have "backfired", driving up energy prices and dealing a blow to European economies.

Russia says Nord Stream likely hit by state-backed 'terrorism'
 

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Comments (22)
Ken Roth
Ken Roth Sep 30, 2022 5:58AM ET
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The pipeline will not be restored until Putin is dead.....The pipeline will be plugged, so no gas runs in the sea or perhaps some ships could fill their tanks with free gas.
Nils Hullmann
Nils Hullmann Sep 30, 2022 5:44AM ET
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10 years from now it will be clear it was the US.....and none will care....like ALWAYS
First Last
First Last Sep 30, 2022 5:44AM ET
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If accusations were against Russia or Trump, retrumplicans would demand incontrovertible proof and witnesses, and reject them as "fake" if they exist.
Ken Roth
Ken Roth Sep 30, 2022 5:05AM ET
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Quickly attach some pipes to the holes under water and get some free gas from Russia!!!
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 30, 2022 5:05AM ET
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Your are a genius. You should run for office.
First Last
First Last Sep 30, 2022 5:05AM ET
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If the Russians are not still pumping more gas into the pipeline, the leak should stop on its own.  News say leaks will stop on Sunday.
rob Tucker
rob Tucker Sep 30, 2022 4:45AM ET
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I'm sure Brandon will use US tax dollars to try fixing it
First Last
First Last Sep 30, 2022 4:45AM ET
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Maybe he'll use assets confiscated from the Russians.  But there's no reason for the US to help fix it.
BD
BD Sep 30, 2022 2:28AM ET
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First Russia stops gas to Europe over leaking oil immediately hours after the G7 proposed a cap on Russian oil, which was said isn't sufficient to stop gas over. And the company that can easily repair it, wasn't given notice to repair it. Russia indefinitely stopped gas. Without other excuses, the only other way to continue indefinite gas stoppage is to sabotage their own pipelines. Russia has a history of false flags where during the winter war with Finland, they shelled their own forces with their artillery, lied it was the Fins and attacked. Modern day scholars from both Russia and Finland agree Finnish artillery were nowhere close. Before the invasion of Ukraine, Russia again started a bunch of false flags to claim Ukraine set off bombs etc., once of course Russia forces had already been in place to invade, just like with Finland. Putin came to power by bombing his own Russians during "the apartment bombings" in Moscow and other cities, to start a fake war with Chechnya.
First Last
First Last Sep 30, 2022 2:28AM ET
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"the only other way to continue indefinite gas stoppage is to sabotage their own pipelines."  --  you got it!  The Russians are contractually obligated to fulfill contracts and deliver certain amounts of gas by certain times.  Self-sabotage allows them to claim force majeure and avoid legal repercussions and gives them political cover.
Chad Richer Than You
Chad Richer Than You Sep 30, 2022 2:21AM ET
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Very well played by NATO, self-sabotage a gas pipeline of no use, accuse Russia of it, and justify the shelling of pro-Russians in Ukraine & soon in Russia itself. One thing to admire indeed!
First Last
First Last Sep 30, 2022 2:21AM ET
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"pro-Russians in Ukraine" would be Russian invasion troops.  We can also consider them illegal immigrants.
Jimmy Doodoo
JimmyD Sep 30, 2022 12:30AM ET
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Wonder what all that leaking methane is doing for climate change and why aren't the alarmists talking about it?
Midnight Trader
Midnight Trader Sep 30, 2022 12:30AM ET
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It’s quite obvious to anyone it’s not good..
Mekigis Laukinis
Mekigis Laukinis Sep 30, 2022 12:30AM ET
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someone should set it on fire .... for sure. would be a nice fireworks
Maximus Maximus
Maximus Maximus Sep 30, 2022 12:30AM ET
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everybody's talking about the devastating effects this has on the climate. what kind of media are you reading?
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 30, 2022 12:30AM ET
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The kind where people with real world concerns about a future for their grandkids are thought of as alarmists.
First Last
First Last Sep 30, 2022 12:30AM ET
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I've seen the global warming angle covered.  Maybe if your media is other than the extreme right-wing conspiracy nut-job type, ...
Rubbing Hands
Rubbing Hands Sep 29, 2022 11:14PM ET
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Can't be using these pipes with faulty Chinese steel.
Vito Tagliano
Vito Tagliano Sep 29, 2022 5:56PM ET
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This Winter EU going feel it real bad! Their own fault! Gor playing Stupid games…
Maximus Maximus
Maximus Maximus Sep 29, 2022 5:56PM ET
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really? so it was the EU that invaded Ukraine, not russia? in any case EUs gas reserves are full for the winter, so they will be fine
Maximus Maximus
Maximus Maximus Sep 29, 2022 4:58PM ET
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in his desperation, losing the war, putler has shown again and again he's willing to hurt russia if it means hurting European energy supplies, in the hope that Europe will stop supporting Ukraine, which will never happen.
 
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