“Everything speaks against coincidence”: Nord Stream pipelines damaged by sabotage?

“Everything speaks against coincidence”
Nord Stream pipelines damaged by sabotage?

The situation is tense: there is a sharp drop in pressure in the two German-Russian gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2. According to a newspaper report, security forces see sabotage at the plant. “We can’t imagine a scenario that isn’t a targeted attack,” said an insider.

According to a newspaper report, the Nord Stream pipelines may have been damaged by targeted attacks and leaked as a result. As the “Tagesspiegel” reports, citing security circles, federal authorities expect sabotage due to the timing, the three lines affected and the severe pressure losses in Nord Stream 1, which also indicate a large leak. “Our imagination no longer gives rise to a scenario that is not a targeted attack,” said a person familiar with the assessment by the federal government and the federal authorities in the “Tagesspiegel”. “Everything speaks against a coincidence.”

The Green foreign politician Jürgen Trittin assumes that the gas leak in Nord Stream 2 was a violent disruption. The pipeline is “relatively new and built from solid and good German steel,” said Trittin on “ntv Frühstart”. If such a pipeline suddenly leaks, “then there must have been a violent disruption of this pipeline.” Now it must be investigated whether this is an attack.

After a drastic pressure loss occurred in one of the two strands of Nord Stream 2 during the night on Monday and a leak was found in Danish territorial waters, a spokesman for the double pipeline Nord Stream 1 also reported a “severe pressure drop on Monday evening ” recorded in both lines.

Such a suspected attack on the seabed is anything but trivial. It must be carried out with special forces, for example navy divers, or a submarine, according to the circles informed about the first assessment of the situation. With the Nord Stream pipelines temporarily switched off, gas deliveries from Russia to Germany and Central Europe would only be possible via the Yamal connection via Poland or the Ukrainian pipeline network.

According to the “Tagesspiegel”, two possibilities are being discussed as to the authorship of the alleged attacks. On the one hand, Ukrainian forces or forces linked to Ukraine could be behind it. On the other hand, it could be a so-called “false flag” operation by Russia to stir up additional uncertainty and possibly drive gas prices up again.

No impact on security of supply

According to the Federal Network Agency and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the cause of the pressure drop is still unclear. A spokeswoman for the ministry said on Monday evening: “We are in the process of clarifying the situation here in exchange with the authorities concerned and the Federal Network Agency. We currently do not know the causes of the pressure drop,” she said.

The Federal Network Agency sees no impact on security of supply. Federal Network Agency President Klaus Müller described the situation as “tense” after the pressure drop in the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines.

No gas has flowed through Nord Stream 1 since Russia stopped deliveries at the beginning of September. Nevertheless, the storage levels continue to rise. According to the authority, they are currently around 91 percent. According to the pipeline operator, the pressure in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline fell during the night to 7 bar from 105 bar operating license.

The federal government says it is working with the Danish authorities to find the cause of the incident. According to Danish maritime authorities, ships have to bypass the Bornholm area for safety reasons.

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