- The army has been deployed to protect Norwegian energy facilities in the wake of the suspected sabotage attack on Russia’s Nord Stream 1 and 2 underwater gas pipelines, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said.
“Military forces will be more present and visible near our oil and gas facilities,” Stoere told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday.
“The information we have received today further strengthens the assumptions that the damage [to the pipelines] it is a deliberate act. It has created a very serious situation.”
The prime minister added that “It is crucial that Europe and NATO stay together” on the matter.
Tone Vangen, the country’s top police emergency officer, confirmed that security, as well as threat monitoring, has been tightened at oil and gas facilities.
The two Nord Stream pipelines, which connect Russia with Germany under the Baltic Sea, lost pressure on Monday, after which numerous leaks were detected. Swedish authorities recorded what they said were two explosions in the areas of gas leaks.
Sweden, Denmark and the EU said the disaster was an act of sabotage. Meanwhile, the Kremlin said the disruption to gas deliveries is a big problem for Moscow and argued that any accusation that it was behind the damage was “absurd”.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov suggested on Thursday that it might have been a “terrorist attack” and it was unlikely that it would have been possible “without the participation of any state power”.
Russian pipeline operator Gazprom said this month that Nord Stream 1 will remain closed indefinitely for maintenance, citing problems with the return of repaired equipment due to Western sanctions imposed on Russia over its military offensive in Ukraine.
The Nord Stream 2 was never fully operational because Germany stopped certification in February due to the Ukraine conflict.