Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Nato believes Baltic Sea gas leaks were sabotage

A fourth leak on the Nord Stream pipelines has been reported off southern Sweden (Swedish Coast Guard via AP)
A fourth leak on the Nord Stream pipelines has been reported off southern Sweden (Swedish Coast Guard via AP)

Nato said on Thursday it would retaliate for any attacks on the critical infrastructure of its 30 member countries as it suggested that damage to two gas pipelines off Denmark and would-be member Sweden in international waters in the Baltic Sea is the result of sabotage.

“Any deliberate attack against Allies’ critical infrastructure would be met with a united and determined response,” Nato ambassadors said in a statement.

They said that the damage to the pipelines between Russia and Germany “is of deep concern”.

The alliance also said that “all currently available information indicates that this is the result of deliberate, reckless, and irresponsible acts of sabotage. These leaks are causing risks to shipping and substantial environmental damage.”

The Swedish coast guard on Thursday confirmed a fourth leak on the Nord Stream pipelines off southern Sweden.

“We have leakage at two positions” off Sweden, coast guard spokesperson Mattias Lindholm. There are two more off Denmark, he said.

Two of the leaks are on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline that recently stopped supplying gas, while the other two are on Nord Stream 2 that never started operating.

Although they were not running, both pipelines were filled with gas, which has escaped and bubbled to the surface.

The Nord Stream pipelines run through the Baltic to transport gas from Russia to Germany. The Danish and Swedish governments believe that the leaks off their countries were “deliberate actions”.

Before the leaks were reported, explosions were recorded.

A first explosion was recorded by seismologists early Monday south0east of the Danish island of Bornholm.

A second, stronger blast north-east of the island that night was equivalent to a magnitude-2.3 earthquake.

Seismic stations in Denmark, Norway and Finland also registered the explosions.

Sweden Europe Pipelines
A fourth leak on the Nord Stream pipelines has been reported off southern Sweden (Swedish Coast Guard via AP)

Some European officials and energy experts have said Russia is likely to blame for any sabotage — it directly benefits from higher energy prices and economic anxiety across Europe — although others cautioned against pointing fingers until investigators are able to determine what happened.

Speaking on Wednesday before the fourth leak was reported, Swedish prime minister Magdalena Andersson said it would have taken a large explosive device to cause the damage.

In Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that the Nord Stream pipeline incident would have been impossible without a state actor’s involvement.

“It looks like a terror attack, probably conducted on a state level,” Mr Peskov said in a conference call with reporters.

“Judging by the amount of destruction of the Nord Stream, it’s hard to imagine that such action could have been taken without a state involvement,” Mr Peskov said. “It’s a very dangerous situation that requires a quick investigation.”

He dismissed media reports about Russian warships spotted in the area as “stupid and biased”, adding that “many more aircraft and vessels belonging to Nato countries have been spotted in the area”.