Updated Sep 28, 2022 - World

Nord Stream pipeline leaks were act of sabotage, EU says

High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell

High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell in June. Photo: Meghdad Madadi ATPImages/Getty Images

The mysterious leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines detected Tuesday were the "result of a deliberate act," the EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement Wednesday on behalf of the union's 27 members.

Driving the news: While Borrell did not name a culprit, he added that "safety and environmental concerns are of utmost priority. These incidents are not a coincidence and affect us all."

What they're saying: “All available information indicates those leaks are the result of a deliberate act," Borrell added.

  • “We will support any investigation aimed at getting full clarity on what happened and why, and will take further steps to increase our resilience in energy security.”
  • “Any deliberate disruption of European energy infrastructure is utterly unacceptable and will be met with a robust and united response.”

State of play: Former CIA Director John Brennan told CNN on Wednesday that he believes the leaks were a result of sabotage most likely by Russia.

  • Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday dismissed suggestions that Russia could be behind the leaks as "quite predictable and also predictably stupid," Reuters reported.
  • Russia's FSB intelligence agency is investigating the pipes' damage as an act of "international terrorism," the country's general prosecutor's office announced Wednesday, Russian news agency Interfax reported, per Reuters.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at a press briefing Wednesday that the U.S. is supporting its European allies in their efforts to investigate the matter.

  • "We have been in touch with our European partners there about the apparent sabotage of the pipelines," she said.

The big picture: The pipelines have been central to the energy crisis that has enveloped Europe in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with Nord Stream 1 providing a crucial pathway for Russian gas to reach Europe until earlier this month, when Russia closed the pipeline.

  • Swedish and Danish maritime authorities warned ships to avoid the area out of safety concerns.
Go deeper