The pipelines were damaged by explosions, each with a force equivalent to 500 kg (1,100 pounds) of TNT, the WSJ reported
The pipeline leaks in Nord Stream 1 and 2 were caused by two powerful explosions, each with a force equivalent to 500 kg (1,100 pounds) of TNT, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing sources. Danish officials reportedly revealed the details at a NATO meeting on Wednesday.
In a statement published on Thursday, the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s decision-making body, did not assign blame for the leaks to any actor, saying only that the pipelines were damaged in what appeared to be “deliberate, reckless and irresponsible acts” of sabotage.
But officials in some member states “have already attributed the destruction to Russia, without providing evidence,” the report said.
The paper reported that member states said during the council meeting that Russia was “probably” behind the Nord Stream crimes. But apparently most of them did not want to publicly express their speculation without “more evidence,” according to unnamed senior European diplomats cited by the news agency.
The diplomats noted that “there was little serious doubt” in the capitals that Moscow orchestrated the Nord Stream leaks, but they wanted to be absolutely sure, given the implications of such accusations.
Moscow has repeatedly dismissed accusations that it had anything to do with the sabotage. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the incident as a likely “terrorist act” that was unlikely to have been possible “without the involvement of any state power.”
On Thursday, Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, offered a reminder that this summer NATO was engaged in military activities near the site where the leaks were found, suggesting it may have been an interesting “opportunity” for the bloc.
Earlier, Sky News reported, citing a British defense source, that the Nord Stream pipelines may have been sabotaged by a remotely detonated underwater explosive device, which could have been planted months or even years before the incident.
On Monday, Denmark reported leaks from the pipelines, which connect Germany and Russia under the Baltic Sea, after the operator reported loss of pressure on both Nord Stream 1 and 2. Danish and Swedish authorities later said there had been a series of underwater explosions near the island of Bornholm. A total of four gas leaks have been discovered in the Nord Stream system.