Investigators across Europe, including intelligence agencies, will now try to find out exactly who and what caused the apparent explosions. This can include many steps, such as checking data stored about the area, including seismic data and other sensors, checking for any communications around the incident. blocked and inspect the pipes for any signs of intentional destruction.
Both pipelines are down — Nord Stream 1 was paused for repairs in August, and Nord Stream 2 didn’t officially open after that Germany supported it before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February – but both pipelines contain gas. All three leaks occurred relatively close together, near the Danish island of Bornholm, in the Baltic Sea. The island is surrounded by Denmark to the west, Sweden to the north, and both Germany and Poland to the south. The leaks are located in international waters, but also within the exclusive economic zones of Denmark and Sweden. “It’s quite shallow, about 50 meters on average in this area,” said Julian Pawlak, a research associate at Helmut Schmidt University and the German Institute for Strategic and Defense Studies.
Security source speculated if the attacks are intentional, they could be conducted by underwater drones, involve dropping or planting mines on boats, carried out by divers, or even from the lines themselves tube. “We still don’t know what the source of those explosions was or where they came from — if they originated outside or if they originated inside the pipeline,” Pawlak said. In a process known as “pigling”, cleaning and inspection machines can be sent down the pipeline from Russia in the direction of Germany. Possibly the pigsty was replaced to carry out an attack.
Back in 2007, before the first Nord Stream pipeline was built, a review of the project by the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI) warned of potential explosions around the pipeline, during terrorist context. It the report said. “However, the impact of such an attack would probably be quite modest and it is very likely that a small incident of this type would not result in a large explosion.”
“Surname [Russia] However, claiming any liability is not necessarily straightforward, says Hansen. The relatively shallow depth of the area around the Nord Stream pipelines means it unlikely that any big submarine will operate nearby, as they will be easily detected.
Pawlak said any ship in the area has the ability to spot other ships that may have caused the damage. Undersea sensors can all detect something in the moving area, but the location of any of these systems is unknown. “It is not yet the case that the entire Baltic Sea is filled with sensors and NATO knows every movement,” Pawlak said. “On the surface, but especially on the seafloor, it is still impossible to know, at all times, in all places, what is moving, what is happening.”