NATO says Nord Stream damage due to 'deliberate, reckless, and irresponsible acts of sabotage'
"Any deliberate attack against Allies’ critical infrastructure would be met with a united and determined response," the military treaty organization warned.
NATO on Thursday officially blamed sabotage for the damage to the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines and said that "any deliberate attack" on member states' infrastructure would be met with a response from the military alliance.
"All currently available information indicates that this is the result of deliberate, reckless, and irresponsible acts of sabotage. These leaks are causing risks to shipping and substantial environmental damage," the North Atlantic Council, which is NATO's decision-making body, wrote. The alliance is supporting investigations to determine what caused the natural gas pipelines running under the Baltic Sea from Russia to German to leak Tuesday.
"We, as Allies, have committed to prepare for, deter and defend against the coercive use of energy and other hybrid tactics by state and non-state actors. Any deliberate attack against Allies’ critical infrastructure would be met with a united and determined response," the military treaty organization warned.
This is the first time NATO has formally said that it would defend allies' infrastructure since the pipelines began leaking. Member states include the United States, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, Greece and two dozen European countries.
European officials have suspected the pipelines were sabotaged for several days. Russia is blaming the United States for the incident. However, sources told CNN that European security officials observed Russian Navy support ships near the pipelines on Monday and Tuesday.