Scientists in Denmark and Sweden registered underwater explosions near the Nord Stream pipelines on Monday, when several major leaks were reported. Sabotage is now believed to be behind the damage.
“There is no doubt that these were explosions,” seismologist Bjorn Lund of Sweden’s National Seismology Centre (SNSN) told public broadcaster SVT on Tuesday.
The Danish military released aerial footage of the leaks, showing large spots and visible bubbling in the water. Nord Stream 1 suffered two leaks northeast of the Danish island of Bornholm, while Nord Stream 2 was damaged south of Dueodde, a beach located at the island’s southernmost tip, the military noted.
Earlier in the day, Moscow said it has been looking into the reasons behind the leaks, suggesting the pipelines were targeted in an act of sabotage. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that currently “no option can be ruled out” on the causes of the incident.
The Nord Stream 1 pipeline was completed in 2011. Construction work on Nord Stream 2 began in 2018, and suffered numerous delays due to political pressure and sanctions from the US. The pipeline was finished and pressurized in September 2021, but never actually got online.
Two days before the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, the German government put its certification on indefinite hold, and has repeatedly rejected any suggestions, both domestic and from Moscow, to open the pipeline.