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Germany and Norway ask NATO to protect underwater infrastructure amid Nord Stream attacks

by The Kyiv Independent news desk December 1, 2022 12:49 AM 1 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at a briefing on Nov. 30 said they would ask NATO to protect Europe's underwater infrastructure following the alleged attacks on the Nord Stream gas pipeline, Reuters reports.

Large blasts followed by significant leaks from the pipeline occurred on Sept. 26. Investigators later found that the explosions were caused by deliberate sabotage. On Sept. 28, the Times newspaper reported, citing a British defense source, that Russia had likely carried out the attack with an underwater drone.

During the briefing, Scholz said that the two leaders "take the protection of our critical infrastructure very seriously and nobody should think that attacks would remain without consequences," Reuters reported.

"Pipelines, telephone cables, Internet connections are lifelines for our states and must be especially protected," he said.

Following the briefing, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Reuters in an emailed statement that he welcomed the two leaders' proposal.

"We have stepped up our efforts after the recent sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, and it is vital to do even more to ensure that our offshore infrastructure remains safe from future destructive acts," he said.

Gas delivery from Russia to Europe via Nord Stream 1, which peaked at 59.2 billion cubic meters in 2021, was cut by Russian state gas company Gazprom on Aug. 31, 2022, on the grounds of required maintenance work.

Nord Stream 2, set to be opened this year, was halted when Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February.

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