A pipeline providing critical imports of oil and natural gas to Europe has partially exploded.
- Video footage from Danish Defense forces shows that three of the four Nord Stream pipelines are leaking natural gas northeast of the island of Bornholm, following an explosion.
- “Natural gas is erupting like geysers on the surface of the Baltic Sea above the damaged Nord Stream pipelines,” says Business Insider.
- An explosion measuring 2.3 on the Richter scale was recorded on Monday evening.
- Experts are calling the damage unprecedented and unlikely to happen naturally. Denmark, Poland, and Ukraine’s prime ministers have made accusations of deliberate sabotage.
- “Ukraine has accused Russia of causing leaks in two major gas pipelines to Europe in what it described as a ‘terrorist attack.’ Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhaylo Podolyak said the damage to Nord Stream 1 and 2 was ‘an act of aggression’ toward the EU,” says BBC.
Why it’s important
The accusations of sabotage may continue to heighten relations between Russia, Europe, and the United States, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues into its eighth month.
The damage to the pipeline may also intensify the ongoing energy crisis in Europe.
“The pipelines were intended to be the main artery of natural-gas flow from Russia to Europe, but supply has been all but shut off since Russia invaded Ukraine. The damage to Nord Stream is a further blow to Europe as it grapples with an energy crisis,” says Business Insider.
The recent shutdown of the pipeline has contributed to Europe’s ongoing energy crisis, creating skyrocketing energy prices, forcing the nationalization of industries, and creating a need to find energy-dependent solutions.
Backing up a bit
As we previously reported, Russia closed its Nord Stream pipeline on August 31. The pipeline was indefinitely shut down shortly thereafter, cutting off Europe from 30% of its oil.
The pipeline is owned by the energy company Gazprom PJSC. The company said it found a technical fault within the pipeline that connects Russia and Germany, and it will remain shut down until it is fixed. It is unsure when that time will be. The delays are believed to be retaliatory against Europe.
“The EU has previously accused Russia of using a reduction in gas supplies as an economic weapon, in response to European sanctions imposed because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, Moscow denies this, saying the sanctions have made it impossible to maintain the gas infrastructure properly,” says BBC.
“Problems with gas supply arose because of the sanctions imposed on our country by Western states, including Germany and Britain,” says Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov.