Copenhagen, Denmark –
The Danish Energy Agency says that one of two broken natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea appears to have stopped leaking natural gas.
The agency said on Twitter on Saturday that it had been informed by the company that operates the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that pressure appears to have stabilized on the pipeline, which runs from Russia to Germany.
“This indicates that the gas leak in this pipeline has stopped,” the Danish Energy Agency said.
The underwater explosions that damaged the Nord Stream I and 2 pipelines this week have caused huge methane leaks. Nordic investigators said the blasts involved several hundred pounds of explosives.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday accused the West of sabotaging Russian-built oil pipelines, a charge the United States and its allies vehemently deny.
Clashes between the United States and Russia continued later at an emergency UN Security Council meeting in New York called by Russia over attacks on pipelines and when Norwegian researchers released a map projecting that a huge plume of methane from the damaged pipelines would travel through large swaths of the Nordic region.
Speaking in Moscow on Friday, Putin said that “Anglo-Saxons” in the West have gone from imposing sanctions on Russia to “terrorist attacks”, sabotaging oil pipelines in what he described as an attempt to “destroy Europe’s energy infrastructure”.
In Washington, US President Joe Biden dismissed Putin’s claims about the pipeline as outlandish.
“It was a deliberate act of sabotage. And now the Russians are spreading disinformation and lies. We will work with our allies to get to the bottom of precisely what happened,” Biden promised. “Just don’t listen to what Putin says. What he says, we know is not true.”
US officials said Putin’s claim was trying to divert attention from his annexation of parts of Ukraine on Friday.
“We are not going to allow Russian disinformation to distract us or the world from its transparently fraudulent attempt to annex the sovereign territory of Ukraine,” White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said Friday.
European nations, which have been reeling from rising energy prices caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have noted that it is Russia, not Europe, that benefits from the chaos in energy markets and energy prices.
The United States has long opposed the two pipelines and has repeatedly urged Germany to stop them, saying they increase Europe’s energy dependence on Russia and reduce its security. Since the war in Ukraine began in February, Russia has reduced the supply of natural gas sent to Europe to heat homes, generate electricity and run factories. European leaders have accused Putin of using “energy blackmail” to divide them over his strong support for Ukraine.
Attacks on pipelines have prompted energy companies and European governments to beef up security around energy infrastructure.