U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday, Sep. 27, that alleged acts of sabotage causing the gas leaks detected in the Nord Stream gas pipelines would be “in no one’s interest.”
The gas leaks come amid a stark energy crisis gripping Europe, partly caused by Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, and experts have now suggested that the leaks were caused by unexplained explosions.
On Tuesday, the German geological research center GFZ released a seismograph taken on the Danish island of Bornholm, close to where the leaks occurred, showing two recorded spikes of activity on the day the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines first experienced dramatic falls in pressure.
The seismograph recorded near-silence in the area of sea containing the pipelines until just after midnight GMT, followed by a sudden tremor that was repeated at 5 p.m. GMT, but GFZ declined to comment on whether the tremors could have been caused by explosions. They did, however, rule out the possibility that the tremors were caused by earthquakes.
Björn Lund, director of the Swedish National Seismic Network (SNSN), which measures earthquakes and explosions, was among the first to suggest in an interview with the Swedish television channel SVT on Tuesday that the initial 2.3 magnitude tremor could be the result of an “underwater explosion.”
“You can clearly see how the waves bounce from the bottom to the surface,” Lund said. “There is no doubt that it was a blast. We even had a station in Gnosjö that picked this up.”
A Danish military flight over the leaks also revealed images showing a kilometer-wide area of gas bubbling on the sea’s surface as a result of the ruptures.
Responding to the speculation, Antony Blinken said at a press conference on Tuesday: “There are initial reports indicating that this may be the result of an attack or some kind of sabotage, but these are initial reports and we haven’t confirmed that yet. But if it is confirmed, that’s clearly in no one’s interest.”
The White House also confirmed that the U.S. was ready to support European agencies in conducting an investigation into the cause of the leaks.
Blinken added that the leaks would have no significant impact on Europe’s energy prices and said that Washington was looking into ways to promote both long and short-term energy security for Europe.
Meanwhile, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said in a news conference in Stockholm on Tuesday that the pipeline leaks were “likely a deliberate action” but “not an attack against Sweden.”
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