The CIA warned Germany of possible attacks on the twin Nord Stream pipelines weeks ago, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing German-language Der Spiegel.
On Monday, Danish authorities discovered a leak in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea carrying gas from Russia to Germany. Later on Tuesday, Swedish maritime officials warned of two leaks on the parallel Nord Stream 1, sparking suspicions of sabotage among many European governments that may have been fueled by the earlier CIA warning, according to the reporting from Reuters and Der Spiegel.
“It is now the clear assessment by authorities that these are deliberate actions. It was not an accident,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said at a press briefing in Copenhagen Tuesday, Reuters reported.
“There is no information yet to indicate who may be behind this action,” she added. (RELATED: Biden Promises To Axe Nord Stream 2 If Russia Invades Ukraine But Won’t Explain How)
Publicly, Germany, Denmark and Russia had suggested sabotage as a highly likely explanation, but expressed caution about coming to a definitive conclusion. Poland’s prime minister immediately attributed the leaks to an “act of sabotage, related to the next step of escalation of the situation in Ukraine,” according to Reuters.
Radek Sikorski, a member of the European Parliament representing Poland, voiced his thanks to the U.S. in response to the attacks. The context for his statement was not immediately clear.
Thank you, USA. pic.twitter.com/nALlYQ1Crb
— Radek Sikorski MEP (@radeksikorski) September 27, 2022
The European Union had also ruled out attributing Russian sabotage and said it was too early to speculate on the possible cause, Reuters reported.
However, German officials suspected a deliberate attack on the pipelines, according to Business Insider.
“We can’t imagine a scenario that isn’t a targeted attack. Everything speaks against a coincidence,” a German government source told Business Insider.
The leaks occurred in international waters that overlapped Sweden’s and Denmark’s exclusive economic zones, Reuters reported.
The Nord Stream pipelines formed a critical energy link between Russia and the rest of Europe, becoming the subject of political tensions after Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Germany halted construction on Nord Stream 2 in February in light of Russia’s imminent invasion, but the pipeline still contained pressurized gas.
Russian-controlled operators have slowly suspended gas deliveries from Nord Stream 1, allegedly in response to Western sanctions, leaving Europe without an abundant source of energy as winter approaches.
Frederiksen said the attacks should not constitute a military threat, but local authorities have warned ships and aircraft to avoid the area of the leaks, according to Reuters.
Norway had warned Monday of unidentified drone activity near oil and gas installations in the North Sea, just west of the Baltic, that could present a security threat, Reuters reported.
The CIA, Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service and the German government did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment. A German government spokesperson had declined to comment to Der Spiegel, according to Reuters.
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