Leaks on Russian gas
Tuesday’s inauguration of a long-awaited pipeline that will bring Norwegian gas to Poland in an effort to strengthen Europe’s energy independence from Moscow was overshadowed by a series of unusual leaks on two natural gas pipelines running from Russia under the Baltic Sea to Germany. These leaks raised suspicions of sabotage.
Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister of Poland, described the incidents as “an act of sabotage,” and Mette Frederiksen, the prime minister of Denmark, said she could not rule out the possibility after three leaks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which are full of gas but aren’t supplying the fuel to Europe, were discovered over the course of the previous day. Energy-related tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have halted Nord Stream 1 flows and prevented the parallel Nord Stream 2 from ever beginning.
In a symbolic act, Frederiksen, Morawiecki, and Polish President Andrzej Duda opened a valve on a yellow pipe that is part of the Baltic Pipe, a new system that will transport Norwegian gas from Denmark to Poland via the Baltic Sea.
According to Morawiecki, “the era of Russian dominance in the gas sector is coming to an end.” “An era characterized by extortion, threats, and blackmail.”
No official provided proof of what caused the Nord Stream issues, but there were concerns Moscow sabotaged its own infrastructure out of spite or to signal that all pipelines are vulnerable to attack in central Europe, where there is a high level of antipathy toward Russia. The discovery of the leaks off the coasts of Sweden and Denmark raised concerns about possible attacks on the energy infrastructure in European waters and caused a slight increase in natural gas prices.