Energy & Environment

NATO warns of ‘united and determined response’ amid pipeline damage investigation

FILE – A Russian construction worker smokes in Portovaya Bay some 170 kms (106 miles) north-west from St. Petersburg, Russia, on April 9, 2010, during a ceremony marking the start of Nord Stream pipeline construction. Russia’s Gazprom state-controlled energy giant said it will shut down the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline to Germany for three days of maintenance starting Wednesday, raising economic pressure on Germany and other European countries that depend on the fuel to power industry, generate electricity and heat homes. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, File)

NATO is vowing to make a “determined response” to any intentional attack on the Nord Stream energy pipelines spanning from Russia to Europe.

“Any deliberate attack against Allies’ critical infrastructure would be met with a united and determined response,” the North Atlantic Council, the main political body of NATO, warned in a statement.

Danish authorities announced on Monday that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline had suffered a leak in the Baltic Sea near Denmark, resulting in unsafe conditions within 5 nautical miles of the incident.

Western officials have suspected sabotage. The U.S. has stopped short, however, of directly blaming Russia.

Moscow for its part has denied allegations it is behind the leaks while blaming the U.S.

The Nord Stream pipelines have been at the center of the European energy crisis following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Germany froze certification of the Nord Stream 2 project, which would have doubled the volume of gas transported from Russia, shortly before Russia launched its large-scale attack on Ukraine.

NATO said on Thursday that the leaks into the Baltic Sea are of “deep concern,” causing international problems such as environmental damage and risks to shipping.

“All currently available information indicates that this is the result of deliberate, reckless, and irresponsible acts of sabotage,” wrote the council, representing the 30 NATO members.

The alliance confirmed that it intends to hold a potential actor behind the leaks accountable using its pooled resources.

 “We, as Allies, have committed to prepare for, deter and defend against the coercive use of energy and other hybrid tactics by state and non-state actors,” it wrote in the release.

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