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Damage to the Nord Stream pipelines observed Monday was likely a deliberate act of sabotage, European Union officials alleged yesterday. Officials did not explicitly name who they believed caused the damage to the separate pipes, triggered by multiple underwater explosions on the same day in international waters between Poland and Denmark (see map). Some European leaders individually pointed to Russia, though both lines are majority owned and operated by Russia’s state-owned Gazprom.
The 750-mile pair of steel-and-concrete pipes lie under the Baltic Sea and can deliver over 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually from Russia to Germany (see construction). Russia had cut supply via Nord Stream 1 since August amid the war in Ukraine, while Nord Stream 2 never began operation as a result of sanctions. Both were filled with methane prior to the damage, now currently leaking into the atmosphere.
The statement came as Russia pushed forward with its attempt to formally annex four occupied territories of Ukraine’s east and south following Kremlin-led referendums.