After leaks were found in Nord Stream, Russia was "extremely worried," and its leaders said they "cannot rule out sabotage."
Major leaks in Russia's Nord Stream gas pipelines to Europe have been called a "act of sabotage," and one expert says it looks like "at least 100kg of TNT" was used.
Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, said on Tuesday that leaks in the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea were "an act of sabotage."
"Any intentional disruption of active European energy infrastructure is unacceptable and will be met with the strongest response possible," she said on Twitter, adding that it was "crucial" to look into the incidents and find out what happened and why.
Russia also took action when two leaks were found on the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea, just hours after a similar problem was found on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is a twin of Nord Stream 1.
"Authorities have been told that there have been two more leaks on Nord Stream 1, which is also not running but has gas in it," Dan Jorgensen, Denmark's climate and energy minister, told AFP in a statement.
After the leaks, Mr. Jorgensen said that the government asked for "higher levels of preparedness in the country's electricity and gas sector."
One of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline leaks happened in the economic zone of Denmark, and the other one happened in the economic zone of Sweden.
A source told the German newspaper Tagesspiegel that the leaks in the Baltic could have been done on purpose, and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said she "cannot rule out" sabotage.
The leaks have been called "unprecedented" by Danish media.
As with the leak on Nord Stream 2 the day before, "safety measures" are being taken.
The Kremlin said that it had started an investigation right away because it was a problem for the energy security of "the whole continent."
"Nothing can be ruled out right now," Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, told reporters in a call.
"There is definitely some kind of damage to the pipe, but until we know what caused it, we can't say for sure what happened."
Spiegel also said late on Tuesday that the CIA had warned Germany a few weeks ago about possible attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea.
Bjorn Lund, a Swedish seismologist, told local media that it seemed like there had been an explosion at the Nord Stream pipelines.
"At least 100kg, but probably more than that, of TNT was used," he said.
Radek Sikorski, who used to be Poland's Defense Minister and is now a member of the European Parliament, wrote on Twitter, "Thank you, USA," which seemed to point the finger at the US.
This made the Polish Secretary of State, Stanislaw Zaryn, very angry. He said that Mr. Sikorski was spreading "Russian propaganda."
"Right away, Russian propaganda started spreading lies about Poland, the US, and Ukraine, saying that the West was attacking NS1 and NS2," he wrote.
"If the Russian lies are proven to be true at this time, Poland's safety is at risk. What a huge amount of carelessness!"
In the wake of the suspected attack, a video from February of US President Joe Biden saying that he would "put an end" to Nord Stream 2 if Russia invaded Ukraine has gone viral.
He told reporters at the time, "If Russia invades, there will be no Nord Stream 2 because we will stop it."
A reporter asked, "But how will you do that, since Germany is in charge of the project?"
Mr. Biden said, "We will. I promise you we will be able to do that."
The Nord Stream 1 leaks were first seen on Monday evening, an hour after a drop in pressure was reported in Nord Stream 2, according to the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA).
"Around 8:00 p.m. (1800 GMT), we got a report from a passing ship saying they saw something on their radar a little further north of the island of Bornholm," SMA spokesman Fredrik Stromback told AFP.
Because of the leaks, navigational warnings have also been issued for a distance of five nautical miles and a flight height of 1000 meters (3280 feet).
Mr. Jorgensen said that the problems with the two pipelines don't affect the flow of oil to Denmark.
The gas leak, which is southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm, "is dangerous for maritime traffic," the authority said in a notice to ships. "Navigation is prohibited within a five nautical mile radius of the reported position," the notice said.
The leaks happened after Gazprom, a big energy company in Russia, said it would keep stopping gas from going to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
And Fitch, a company that rates energy companies, says it's "getting more likely" that Russia will stop sending gas to Europe. This could cause a recession in Europe.
Europe said that Moscow was using energy as a "weapon" after it cut off supplies from Gazprom through the important Nord Stream 1 pipeline, saying that maintenance work was the reason.
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry in Moscow, said that Germany, not the Kremlin, was trying to break all energy ties between the two countries.
In recent years, about a third of Germany's gas comes from Russia.
In the latest setback, which will make it more likely that there won't be enough energy in the coming months, a Russian company said that gas flow through the pipeline would be stopped for good, even though it had been shut down for maintenance earlier in the week and operations were supposed to start back up over the weekend.
Gazprom says that a leak of oil was found in the Portovaya compressor station, which delayed the start of operations on Saturday.
The Kremlin said on Friday that Nord Stream could have technical problems in the future after the maintenance work that is currently going on. They blamed sanctions for a lack of spare parts.
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, told reporters, "There are no technical reserves, and only one turbine is running."
"So the reliability of the operation, of the whole system, is at risk," he said, adding that it wasn't Gazprom's fault.
The oil leak happened as the West and Moscow fought back against each other on Friday. The West put painful pressure on Moscow's energy sector, while Ukraine said it bombed a Russian base near a nuclear plant, which is causing more and more worry.