Macron Suggests EU Launch Coordinated Op to Ensure Underwater Gas Pipeline Security
15:48 GMT 07.10.2022 (Updated: 16:04 GMT 07.10.2022)
The French president stated on Thursday that the European Union needed to develop a strategy to protect critical infrastructure following the Nord Stream attacks.
Emmanuel Macron has suggested that EU nations launch a coordinated operation in order to ensure security of underwater gas pipelines.
"We have proposed to a number of countries with gas infrastructure in the North and Baltic Seas to start a coordinated operation, which we are doing regularly, to ensure infrastructure security, as well as to establish more frequent monitoring of it," Macron said during a press conference after the Informal EU 27 Summit and Meeting within the European Political Community in Prague.
The idea was voiced after the Nord Stream pipelines suffered fuel leaks after experiencing rapid pressure drops late last month, with Moscow calling the incidents acts of sabotage and international terrorism.
On Thursday, the French president said that the European Union needed to come up with a strategy to protect critical infrastructure.
"We need to protect our key infrastructure. We saw that a few days ago with the attacks against Nord Stream 1. We have the key infrastructure, critical infrastructure which concerns the EU and the other European countries, gas pipelines, cables satellites. We need a European strategy to protect them, and this is a common policy, it is not just a matter of the EU but for all countries represented around this table," Macron told a press conference after a meeting of the European Political community in Prague.
An investigation by the Swedish Security Services into the Nord Stream terrorist acts, that was completed on Thursday, confirmed explosions near the pipelines and strengthened the suspicions of sabotage.
"The crime scene investigation has shown that there have been detonations near Nord Stream 1 and 2, within the Swedish economic zone, resulting in extensive damage to the gas pipelines," the Swedish security services said in a statement.
Nord Stream pipelines, which runs under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, suffered fuel leaks and rapid pressure drop on September 26, with Sweden and Denmark registering explosions in the area. The operator company Nord Stream AG later said that the damage to the pipeline system is unprecedented. Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that it was a deliberate assault on European energy infrastructure, hinting that the US and Britain are responsible for the blasts. The Russian Prosecutor General's Office has been investigating the incidents as acts of international terrorism.
6 October 2022, 06:43 GMT
At the same time, Moscow launched an investigation into the terror attack, also noting that the decision by Denmark and Sweden not to cooperate with Russia in their probe caused major concerns. Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, emphasized that Copenhagen's unwillingness to involve Russia in the investigation of the terrorist attack on the Nord Stream pipelines may indicate that Copenhagen knows who the perpetrator is.
The Russian Embassy in Copenhagen said on Friday that Russia would study the possibility of holding an independent investigation of the terrorist attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines. Russia is the most affected party in the current situation with the incident at the Nord Stream pipelines because Gazprom, as the owner of the gas pipelines, suffered significant damage, the diplomatic mission said.
"Deliberate sabotage was committed against gas pipelines, which are one of the most important objects of Russia's energy infrastructure. Russia in this case acts as the most affected party. The owner of these gas pipelines is the Russian company Gazprom. Its property has suffered significant damage," the embassy added.