A gas pipeline burst in Europe, and no one knows who did it

A gas pipeline burst in Europe, and no one knows who did it
Gas bubbles from the Nord Stream 2 leak reaching surface of the Baltic Sea in the area shows disturbance of well over one kilometre diameter near Bornholm, Denmark, September 27, 2022. Danish Defence Command/Handout via REUTERS

Energy is a hotly contested topic right now (no pun intended). See, Russia is a huge producer of oil and natural gas, and Europe has historically relied on the country to help it through the cold winters. But now that the EU has sanctioned the bejeezus out of Russia, every bit of energy, Russian or otherwise, is being treated carefully for fears of ongoing supply issues throughout the colder months.

That’s why it was so sketchy when Russian gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea sprung leaks earlier this week and started spewing natural gas into the water. Some world leaders say this isn’t a coincidence and it looks like an act of sabotage. Europe is currently investigating the leaks to find out what happened.

To be clear, no one has any solid evidence yet. And even Russia is saying the whole thing looks weird, which could be a face-saving maneuver or a genuine reaction. There are some questions about the effects on local ecosystems, but the bigger question is pretty simple – if it was sabotage, who did it?

Key comments:

According to German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, Berlin knows for sure “that they were not caused by natural occurrences or events or material fatigue." He also said, “Germany is a country that knows how to defend itself. And Europe is a continent that can protect its energy infrastructure."

“We see clearly that it’s an act of sabotage, related to the next step of escalation of the situation in Ukraine," said Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin, said it was “very concerning news. Indeed, we are talking about some damage of an unclear nature to the pipeline in Denmark’s economic zone." He also said that “no option can be ruled out right now."

“The destruction that occurred on the same day simultaneously on three strings of the offshore gas pipelines of the Nord Stream system is unprecedented," said network operator Nord Stream AG. “It is not yet possible to estimate the timing of the restoration of the gas transport infrastructure."