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Probes get underway on gas pipeline leaks

By CHEN WEIHUA | China Daily | Updated: 2022-09-29 06:57

(L to R) Sweden's Foreign Minister Ann Linde, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist hold a press conference on the gas leak in the Baltic Sea from Nord Stream in Stockholm, on September 27, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

European nations are launching investigations into the cause of the leaks in the Nord Stream pipelines that link Russia and Germany through the Baltic Sea — already suspected by Scandinavian leaders to be acts of sabotage.

Germany's geological research center GFZ said that a seismograph on the Danish island of Bornholm, near where the leaks occurred, recorded spikes twice on Monday, the day when the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines witnessed sharp falls in pressure.

The leaks reported are in Danish and Swedish maritime economic zones, not the nations' territorial waters.

Aerial photos by the Danish military show bubbling gas, with the areas in question ranging from 200 to 1,000 meters in diameter.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that the authorities assessed that there have been "deliberate actions. It is not an accident".

Outgoing Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said: "We have Swedish information and we have also been in touch with Denmark, and based on this, we have concluded that this is likely a deliberate act, that is, it is likely an act of sabotage."

Neither leader pointed fingers at any possible culprits.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia was "extremely concerned" by the reports of damage and that no option, including sabotage, could be ruled out at the moment.

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