Russia is “extremely concerned” about the damage sustained by the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, the Kremlin said Tuesday.
Three offshore lines of the Russia-built Nord Stream gas pipeline system sustained "unprecedented" damage, leaking gas into the Baltic Sea, pipeline operator Nord Stream AG said in a statement carried by Russian state agencies Tuesday.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said pressure in the gas pipeline has dropped significantly as a result of the three leaks and refused to rule out sabotage as a potential cause.
"Yesterday, information appeared both from Gazprom and from the operating company. This is very disturbing news. Indeed, we are talking about some destruction to the pipeline, it is not yet clear what kind,” Peskov said, according to the state-run TASS news agency.
The alleged damage to the 1,200-kilometer Nord Stream pipeline that carries gas from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea took place in the Danish economic zone and has sparked an investigation by Moscow, Peskov said.
"This is a completely unprecedented situation that requires urgent investigation. We are extremely concerned about this news," he said.
The damage to the Nord Stream is the latest turn in an ongoing energy dispute that erupted between Russia and the West following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
Europe has accused Russia of weaponizing energy supplies in retaliation for sanctions, while Moscow blames Western sanctions and technical issues for supply disruptions.
Flows through the pipeline, which were previously down to just 20% of normal capacity from July, were halted at the end of August and have not yet been relaunched following a series of repairs declared by Moscow.
Peskov said any contact between the Kremlin and German officials would be made through the pipeline’s operating company and stressed the seriousness of the disruptions ahead of the long winter months.
"Of course, this is an issue related to the energy security of the entire continent," Peskov said.
Denmark's prime minister said it was "hard to imagine" that the three leaks detected on the Nord Stream pipelines were "accidental."
"It's an unusual situation, to have three leaks a distance from each other. That's why it's hard to imagine that it's accidental," Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told Danish media during a visit to Poland.
AFP contributed reporting.