Nord Stream operator decries ‘unprecedented’ damage to three pipelines

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The operator of the Nord Stream pipelines constructed to carry Russian gasoline to Europe on Tuesday reported “unprecedented” damage to the system, elevating suspicions of sabotage after mysterious leaks triggered sudden drops in strain to three underwater strains within the Baltic Sea.

“The damage that occurred in someday concurrently at three strains of offshore pipelines of the Nord Stream system are unprecedented,” the corporate, Nord Stream AG, stated in an announcement to Russian state information companies.

Two of the broken pipes are a part of Nord Stream 1, a significant transmission line of Russian pure gasoline to Europe, whereas the third is a part of Nord Stream 2, which Western nations have blocked from changing into totally operational as a part of sanctions over Russia’s battle in Ukraine.

Nord Stream 2’s operator stated strain within the undersea pipeline dropped from to 7 bar from 105 bar in a single day.

Russia has minimize off components of Nord Stream 1 in retaliation for the sanctions, halting provides to Germany, Poland and different nations. European leaders, together with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, have accused the Kremlin of utilizing fossil fuels for “blackmail.”

The damage to the three pipelines delivered yet one more warning signal that Europe should brace for a tough winter with out dependable provides of Russian gasoline. In its assertion the Nord Stream operator stated “it’s unattainable to estimate” when the pipelines can be mounted.

Russia halted provides through Nord Stream 1 earlier this months citing technical issues, and has accused the West of refusing to present generators wanted for repairs.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Swedish Maritime Authority had issued a warning of two leaks within the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in Swedish and Danish waters. The warning got here shortly after a leak on the close by Nord Stream 2 challenge was found in Danish waters.

Danish and Swedish authorities stated they had been investigating the leaks and launched a five-mile radius exclusion zone, close to the Danish island of Bornholm the place ships are banned.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday stated the Russian authorities was “extraordinarily involved” concerning the damage.

“This could be very alarming data, there some damage within the pipe within the Danish financial zone, it’s not but clear what form,” Peskov instructed reporters throughout his each day convention name. “The strain has dropped significantly. This is an unprecedented state of affairs that wants to be handled urgently.”

Peskov additionally stated Russia shouldn’t be “excluding any choices” after a report by the German newspaper Tagesspiegel, suggesting potential sabotage.

In an announcement, the German Energy Ministry was knowledgeable of “a pointy drop in strain” within the Nordstream 2 pipeline, however stated that it didn’t have “readability concerning the causes and the precise details.”

A spokesperson for the European Commission stated that officers had been conscious of the leaks and had been involved with the authorities of the nations affected. The spokesperson stated there was no influence on the safety of gasoline provides however that the authorities had been monitoring the state of affairs.

Beatriz Rios in Brussels and Meg Kelly in Berlin contributed to this report.

War in Ukraine: What you want to know

The newest: Russian President Vladimir Putin introduced a “partial mobilization” of troops in an tackle to the nation on Sept. 21, framing the transfer as an try to defend Russian sovereignty in opposition to a West that seeks to use Ukraine as a instrument to “divide and destroy Russia.” Follow our stay updates right here.

The combat: A profitable Ukrainian counteroffensive has pressured a significant Russian retreat within the northeastern Kharkiv area in latest days, as troops fled cities and villages they’d occupied for the reason that early days of the battle and deserted giant quantities of navy tools.

Annexation referendums: Staged referendums, which might be unlawful underneath worldwide legislation, are set to happen from Sept. 23 to 27 within the breakaway Luhansk and Donetsk areas of japanese Ukraine, in accordance to Russian information companies. Another staged referendum can be held by the Moscow-appointed administration in Kherson beginning Friday.

Photos: Washington Post photographers have been on the bottom from the start of the battle — right here’s a few of their strongest work.

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