NAccording to estimates by Danish authorities, the damaged Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea meanwhile probably no more gas. The operator, Nord Stream AG, had been informed that the pressure in the pipeline had also stabilized at Nord Stream 1, the authority announced on Twitter on Sunday afternoon. This indicates that no more gas is escaping. The Danes had already announced the same status for Nord Stream 2 on Saturday.
Previously, large amounts of gas had escaped continuously for days from the four leaks in the two pipelines – two of them in Swedish waters, two in Danish waters. After several overflights over the area on Sunday afternoon, the Swedish authorities announced that gas was still escaping in areas of around 100 meters and the smaller leak around 15 meters in diameter. Although this was significantly less than a few days ago, it was the same as on Saturday. Forecasts were still assuming that there, too, the gas leak should stop on Sunday. According to the Swedish Coast Guard, it initially had no explanation as to why this happened more quickly in Danish waters. Forecasts assumed that Brexit should stop on Sunday. However, the Swedes announced that they and their operational teams were also prepared for a longer period of time. Ships are required to avoid the area in the Baltic Sea on a large scale.
Many states assume sabotage. At least two explosions happened underwater, Denmark and Sweden announced during the week. Seismological institutes have measured a strength of 2.3 and 2.1, which “probably corresponds to an explosive charge of several hundred kilograms”.
“Hunt those responsible – with all means of the rule of law”
According to the Federal Minister of Justice, German investigations into the explosions are also ongoing Marco Buschmann (FDP) conceivable. It is “possible that a crime was committed here for which the Federal Public Prosecutor could take over the prosecution,” he told the “Bild am Sonntag”.
An investigation by the Attorney General in the case would “possibly involve anti-constitutional sabotage with an impact on Germany,” said Buschmann. The criminal offense of causing an explosives explosion is also an option. If such a suspicion is confirmed, “the Attorney General would intervene and officially investigate,” said the minister. “We would hunt down those responsible – with all the instruments available to our constitutional state,” said Buschmann. “The aim would be to get hold of the perpetrators and bring them to justice in Germany.”
Federal Defense Minister Christine was more reserved Lambrecht (SPD). When asked about Buschmann’s statements, the former Federal Minister of Justice said on the ARD program “Report from Berlin” that the case initially shows “how sensitively we have to deal with the critical infrastructure in the pipeline area” and elsewhere. “That’s why legal assessments don’t get us any further now. What is important now is that we ensure that we are well prepared in terms of our critical infrastructure.”
Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) has already announced an investigation into the incidents by a joint investigative team from Germany, Denmark and Sweden. Lambrecht said in the ARD, Germany is now, of course, also evaluating movements in these areas together with allies in order to be able to allocate responsibilities. However, this is “very difficult because there is a lot of movement in this area”.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Nowak said on state television: “Certainly there are technical possibilities to rebuild the infrastructure.” But this requires time and appropriate funds. But first it had to be found out who was behind it, said Nowak on the program “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin.”
For repairing the leaks in the natural gas pipelines North Stream According to the Russian state gas company, there are 1 and 2 Gazprom currently no foreseeable schedule. The group has started to look for “possible solutions to make the system work again,” spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said on Friday via video link in front of the UN Security Council in New York at a debate on the leaks requested by Russia. However, the duration of this repair cannot be estimated at this time. From a technical point of view, the task was “very overwhelming”. Such leaks have never existed before.