US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stated on Friday that it is too soon to make any assumptions about who is to blame for the gas leaks in the Nord Stream pipelines and that a thorough investigation must be conducted.
The head of the Pentagon refrained from assigning responsibility for the situation involving the Russian gas pipelines during a press conference in Hawaii.
No one will be able to determine with certainty what happened until a thorough investigation is conducted, he said, adding that “in terms of the assault – or the damage to the pipeline, at this point I believe there’s a lot of conjecture.”
Given that the event occurred close to the Danish island of Bornholm, Austin said he spoke with his Danish counterpart about the leaks. He added that it will take the Danes a few days to “get the correct team in to look at the locations and actually attempt to identify… what happened.”
He emphasized, hinting that the US has promised to help, “We won’t speculate on who may have been responsible until we obtain more information, or are able to perform additional study.
After the operator reported a loss of pressure on both the Nord Stream 1 and 2, Denmark on Monday reported leaks from the Baltic Sea-connected pipelines that link Germany and Russia. Later, the authorities in Denmark and Sweden claimed that many underwater explosions had occurred close to Bornholm. Four gas leaks have been found in the Nord Stream system overall.
Western authorities have speculated that the event may have been the result of sabotage. Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov generally backed these claims, calling the leaks a likely “terrorist act” that was unlikely to have occurred “without the cooperation of any state authority.”
Neither side’s officials have made a decision about who is to blame for the event.
According to reports, Germany has been looking into the leaks as an attack that may have been carried out by pro-Ukrainian forces or perhaps Russia itself as part of a possible false-flag operation to harm Kiev.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova refuted claims that her country was responsible for the incident on Thursday. She mentioned that NATO was conducting military exercises near to the area where the leaks were discovered this summer and added that it would have given an intriguing “opportunity” for the alliance.
Radoslaw Sikorski, a former foreign minister of Poland, had previously “thanked” the US for damaging the pipeline, and Zakharova urged Washington to “confess” to the facts and provide an explanation.
When asked if the Pentagon was cooperating with the probe by using submarines or other underwater military assets, the U.S. military official responded that Washington had not been requested to do so.
The person added, “We’re similar to a lot of other nations out there with capacity that could undoubtedly assist, but we haven’t been requested to do so.” “And once more, there are many nations worldwide with undersea capabilities.”
In a call with his Danish colleague on Wednesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also expressed support, a senior U.S. defense official said on the condition of anonymity.
In close collaboration with our friends and partners, if necessary, the U.S. Navy is prepared to offer support and assistance, according to Navy Captain Tamara Lawrence, a spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa.
Following the discovery of gas leaks on undersea Russian pipelines to Europe this week, the European Union said it thought sabotage was responsible and pledged a “strong” reaction to any intentional damage of its energy infrastructure.
Russia cut back on gas shipments to Europe through Nord Stream 1 before completely stopping them in August, blaming technical issues on Western sanctions. Politicians in Europe claim it was an excuse for stopping the delivery of gas.
The brand-new Nord Stream 2 pipeline had not yet begun receiving commercial traffic. Days before Russia launched what it terms a “special military operation” in Ukraine in late February, Germany decided against using it to export gas.
Any attempt to disrupt the Nord Stream pipelines would be an attack on both Europe’s and Russia’s energy security, according to the Russian embassy in Denmark.
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