COPENHAGEN (Reuters) -Leaks detected in the Nord Stream gas pipelines clearly were caused by deliberate actions and could not have been a result of accidents, Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Tuesday.
“It is now the clear assessment by authorities that these are deliberate actions. It was not an accident,” Mette Frederiksen said at a press briefing in Copenhagen.
“There is no information yet to indicate who may be behind this action,” she said, adding that authorities do not see the incidents as a direct military threat against Denmark.
Europe was investigating major leaks from two Russian pipelines that spewed gas into the Baltic Sea near Sweden and Denmark as Sweden launched a preliminary probe into possible sabotage. The leaks, first reported on Monday, were in international waters but inside Denmark’s and Sweden’s exclusive economic zone.
Danish authorities assess that the damage was caused by blasts, Energy Minister Dan Jorgensen said at the briefing. He added that the size of the holes in the pipelines indicate that the leaks could not have been caused by an accident such as getting hit by an anchor.
The damaged pipelines are at a depth of 70-90 meters below sea level, Jorgensen said.
(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen, Stine Jacobsen and Nikolaj Skydsgaard; editing by Niklas Pollard; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Marguerita Choy)