September 28, 2022 Russia war Ukraine-Ukraine news

The Nord Stream pipeline leaks are acts of “sabotage”, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after a meeting with Danish Defense Minister Morten Bodskov in Brussels.

“We discussed the sabotage of #NorthStream pipelines with our valued ally Denmark’s Defense Minister Morten Bodskov. We discussed the protection of critical infrastructure in #NATO countries,” Stoltenberg said on his verified Twitter account.

Stoltenberg’s comments came after Swedish authorities warned of multiple leaks at the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, both of which run under the Baltic Sea near Sweden and Denmark, and have been key foci in the energy war between Europe and Russia.

There are reasons to be concerned about the security situation in the Baltic Sea region after the unexplained leaks in the Nord Stream pipelines, Bodskov said after Wednesday’s meeting.

“Russia has a significant military presence in the Baltic Sea region and we expect it to continue to clash,” Bodskov said, his press office told CNN.

The two discussed what Stoltenberg called “sabotage” on the Nord Stream pipeline and “addressed the protection of critical infrastructure in NATO countries,” Stoltenberg said in a tweet.

Denmark’s Defense Ministry said a total of three leaks – which European leaders say cannot be ruled out as sabotage – have been found at the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, respectively, in the northeast and southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm.

There are two leaks from Nord Stream 1 and one leak from Nord Stream 2, the press office told CNN.

The Danish Maritime Authority has issued a navigation warning and established a restricted zone to prevent vessels from entering areas near the spill.

Vessels may lose buoyancy if they enter the area and there may be a risk of ignition on the water and in the air, the press office reported.

Subsequently, a prohibited zone has been created for ships with a radius of 5 nautical miles and a prohibited zone of 1 kilometer for aircraft.

“It is too early to draw conclusions about the reasons for the events. But at the same time, it’s hard to imagine that this is just a coincidence. At the moment we cannot rule out that this is a deliberate act,” Bodskov said.

“Obviously, this is a very serious matter. That is why we are taking the measures we are taking now, and increasing our presence around Bornholm. Our authorities are doing everything they can to clarify the cause, in close cooperation with our partners,” he added.

It may take a week or two for the areas around the affected Nord Stream spill to be quiet enough to investigate, Bodskov’s office confirmed to CNN.

Numerous other world leaders have voiced concerns about the cause of the leaks, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen referring to the pipeline leaks as an “act of sabotage”. the tweet on tuesday

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said the damage to the pipelines was “extremely worrying”, while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said if the leaks were the result of an attack, “that is clearly not in anyone’s interest”.