Putin claims that the West is damaging pipes in the Baltic Sea - worldsnews
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Putin claims that the West is damaging pipes in the Baltic Sea

Denmark's COPENHAGEN (AP) — Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, said on Friday that Germany's under-the-sea gas pipelines were being sabotaged by the West. This accusation has been vigorously refuted by the United States and its allies. Nordic countries said that several hundred pounds of explosives were used in the underwater explosions that destroyed the pipes this week and caused massive methane leaks..

The assertion by Putin came as Norwegian researchers published a map predicting that a massive plume of methane released by damaged pipelines will travel over large swaths of the Nordic region and as the U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting on Friday in New York regarding the attacks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines.

Putin claimed that the "Anglo-Saxons" in the West have switched from sanctions on Russia to "terror attacks," sabotaging the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in what he described as an attempt to "destroy the European energy infrastructure" while speaking on Friday at a ceremony to annex four regions of Ukraine into Russia.

He said, "Those who profit from it have done it," although he did not identify any one nation.

Moscow claims it wants a comprehensive international investigation to determine the extent of the harm to the pipelines that transport Russian natural gas to Europe. "It seems like a terror assault, possibly carried out on a state level," said Putin's spokesperson.

European countries have observed that Russia, not Europe, profits from the turmoil in the energy markets and the spike in energy prices that have been brought on by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Even before Putin's remarks, Ned Price, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, categorically denied any allegations that the U.S. may have harmed the Nord Stream pipelines.

The notion that the US was somehow responsible for the alleged destruction of these pipelines is absurd. Price stated on Wednesday that it is nothing more than a manifestation of Russian misinformation and ought to be recognized as such.

The two pipelines have long been opposed by the United States, which has frequently lobbied Germany to block them on the grounds that doing so would make Europe more dependent on Russian energy and less secure. Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, European countries have claimed that Putin is dividing the European Union's support for Ukraine by cutting off gas supplies to Europe and engaging in "energy blackmail."

A natural gas pipeline called Nord Stream 2 travels 1,230 kilometers (764 miles) from Russia to Germany's Baltic coast under the Baltic Sea. The pipeline would double the capacity of an older Nord Stream pipeline, increasing it to 110 billion cubic meters of gas annually. The purpose of its construction was to allow Russian energy giant Gazprom to transmit gas to Europe's pipeline network without utilizing already-existing pipelines that pass via Poland and Ukraine.

The blasts that shook the Baltic Sea prior to the massive methane leaks, according to Denmark and Sweden, "probably equated to an explosive load of several hundred kilograms (pounds)," they stated on Friday.

According to the letter from the two Scandinavian nations' missions to the United Nations, the leaks happened in international seas and "have resulted in plumes of gas rising to the surface."

NATO issued a warning on Thursday that it will respond violently to any assaults on the vital infrastructure of its 30 members' nations, joining other Western officials in pointing to sabotage as the most probable culprit. Sweden is en route to joining NATO, while Denmark has already acceded. Both claim that the pipes were intentionally damaged.

Sweden and Denmark will not be represented at the meeting on Friday since they are not members of the Security Council, which Russia is a permanent member of.

An large volume of methane gas has been released into the sky, according to the European research alliance Integrated Carbon Observation System, which added that it is equivalent to the annual methane emissions of a country like Denmark or a metropolis the size of Paris.

Professor Stephen Platt of the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, a member of the team, said: "We presume the wind on the leak region carried the methane emissions north to the Finnish islands, then (the emissions) curve toward Sweden and Norway."

The information was acquired from sites in Sweden, Norway, and Finland using ground-based observations. These methane levels, according to experts, are a significant contributor to global warming but not hazardous to human health.

Due to the alleged sabotage this week on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, there were two methane leaks off Sweden, two off Denmark, and one huge leak above North Stream 1 and another lesser leak above North Stream 2.

The Swedish coast guard said that the North Stream 2 leak "has lessened, but is still occurring." Ships were nonetheless given stronger navigational warnings, telling them to keep a safe distance of 7 nautical miles (13 km, 8 miles) from the explosion zones.

Seismologists in the Nordic region observed blasts before the leaks. Early on Monday, a preliminary explosion was heard southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm. That same night, a second, more powerful blast northeast of the island had a magnitude of 2.3.

In their letter, Denmark and Sweden expressed concern about the explosions' "potential impact on the nautical life in the Baltic Sea."

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Friday that she will visit London to speak with Liz Truss, the British Prime Minister, about the gas leaks. She will next make her way to Brussels to discuss the matter with Charles Michel, president of the European Council, and Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of NATO.

Energy corporations and European governments have increased the security of their energy infrastructure as a result of the attacks on the pipelines.

Natural gas prices, which were already skyrocketing, are now under much more pressure due to concerns of future harm to Europe's energy infrastructure. Major gas provider Russia shut off significant gas shipments to Europe earlier this year in response for sanctions imposed following its invasion of Ukraine. The continent has seen significant economic suffering as a result.

At least six drone sightings have been reported near offshore installations in the North Sea by Norwegian authorities, who are a major oil and gas producer. As a result, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway, the Scandinavian nation's oil safety regulator, has "urged increased vigilance by all operators and vessel owners." However, the offshore Norwegian oil and gas plants were not under any specific threat, according to Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stre.

A drone was reportedly observed Wednesday near a Danish offshore oil and gas complex in the North Sea, according to the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet.

Also enhancing security are Sweden's three nuclear power reactors.