German security services believe that the three branches of the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines were so seriously damaged that they will never be suitable for operation. If they are not repaired quickly, a large amount of salt water will get into the pipes, which will cause corrosion, reports the German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, citing sources in German government circles.
Like the European Commission, German security agencies and the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) believe that the incident was an act of sabotage, the newspaper further points out. The BND has taken a leading role in the investigation, including studying satellite imagery of ships in the area before the gas pipeline explosions.
It is assumed that the three branches of the Nord Stream and Nord Stream-2 were damaged by targeted explosions, since the size of the holes is very large, the pressure drop rate in the pipelines was also high, Der Tagesspiegel reports. Therefore, according to one version, divers fixed explosives onto two pipes of Nord Stream and one pipe of Nord Stream 2. In addition, there is a considerable distance between the three places in which the leak occurred.
The incident is also being investigated by the emergency department of the German Foreign Ministry, consultations on the consequences of the incident are held by several federal ministries and the Federal Chancellery. As a first step, the Federal Police will tighten its surveillance of Germany's territorial waters, and its ships will monitor the country's critical infrastructure routes more closely. In addition, the authorities of the federal states will strengthen the protection of the coastal regions of the North and Baltic Seas. Particular attention will be paid to the terminals under construction for receiving liquefied natural gas, as well as underwater and telecommunication cables.
A major leak in the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, built to supply Russian gas to Germany, was initially reported on the night of September 26. Russia said that it is not yet known how long it will take to restore the pipelines and expressed deep concern about the incident.