World

Damage to Russia-Germany gas pipelines was ‘sabotage’, as EU warns of retaliation

Analysis: Pipeline attacks mean Ukrainian war is ‘now going to the Baltic’

Professor Michael Clarke, a security and defence analyst, said leaks in the Nord Stream gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea were caused by “three explosions near the seabed”.

He added it is “clearly an act of sabotage”, as you need a submarine to cause such chaos underwater.

“This is not some casual terrorist act, it has to be a government. The only government who could really gain from that, in a peculiar way, is Russia – none of the European governments would want to do it.”

His comments come after Denmark said “deliberate actions” caused such leaks in the pipelines, which run under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.

“Privately, everyone is convinced this is a Kremlin-inspired piece of sabotage,” Professor Clarke said.

“This is a strategic own goal because although it increases the sense of isolation that there will be no Russian gas for Europe this winter, it actually destroys Russia’s credibility completely with European customers for the next couple of generations.”

Asked why they would do it, Professor Clarke said his guess is that the Russians wanted to “create insecurity that there may be more of this”.

“It opens up a new front in the war. It means the Ukrainian war is now going to the Baltic.”

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