Danish agency received 14 reports of drones after Nord Stream explosions

Denmark’s Energy Agency received 16 reports of drone and ship activity at energy facilities on or under the sea in the weeks after the sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines.

Danish agency received 14 reports of drones after Nord Stream explosions
Gas escaping from the damaged Nord Stream pipeline on September 27th 2022. File photo: Danish Armed Forces

The information on the reports was revealed by newspaper Børsen based on an access to information request with the Energy Agency.

Drone sightings accounted for 14 of the 16 reports with the remaining two relating to ships. In the corresponding period in 2021, the agency received zero reports.

The National Police (Rigspolitiet) stated in September and October that it had received reports of drone activity near gas fields in the Baltic Sea.

Cyber security and maritime infrastructure expert Tobias Liebetrau of the University of Copenhagen told Børsen that it is impossible to say whether the apparent spike in sightings represents increased activity or increased alert in the area.

“Nord Stream showed us that, whoever was behind it, someone has the intention of destructively attacking energy infrastructure. With that in mind, it’s important to take it seriously,” he said.

“This is not synonymous with as soon as you see a drone, it has some explosives mounted or is on its way to an oil platform, but it is a threat we should take seriously. Not least because of Denmark’s involvement in the war in Ukraine,” he said.

The reports made to the agency came from a variety of sources including members of the public, authorities and businesses, the expert pointed out. It should also be noted that the drones themselves could belong to either private individuals, businesses or Danish authorities.

Four leaks emerged on the two Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea off the coast of the Danish island of Bornholm at the end of September, with seismic institutes reporting that they had recorded two underwater explosions prior to the leaks appearing.

While the leaks were in international waters, two of them were in the Danish exclusive economic zone and two in the Swedish one.

Investigations later showed the pipelines were ruptured by underwater explosives, but it remains uncertain who was behind the explosions.

READ ALSO: Six months on, what do we know about the Nord Stream blasts?

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Russia summons German, Swedish and Danish envoys over Nord Stream

Russia on Thursday summoned the envoys of Germany, Sweden and Denmark over Moscow's frustration with the lack of progress on probes into the sabotaged Nord Stream gas pipelines.

Russia summons German, Swedish and Danish envoys over Nord Stream

Built to carry Russian gas to Germany, the pipelines in the Baltic Sea were ruptured by subsea explosives months after Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine in February, 2022.

Western countries have blamed the explosions under the Baltic Sea last September on Russia, but the Kremlin has accused the West of sabotage.

German, Swedish and Danish authorities have been investigating the blasts that sparked four leaks.

On Thursday, the Russian foreign ministry said it summoned the envoys and made an official diplomatic protest over “a complete lack of results of the national investigations allegedly carried out by the authorities of these countries”.

Moscow decried the three EU nations for failing to “ensure the transparency” of the investigations and insisted that Russia should be involved in the probes.

The Russian foreign ministry also pointed to the three countries’ “lack of interest” in establishing the truth.

“They are clearly dragging their heels and trying to conceal the traces and the true perpetrators of the crime,” the ministry said in a statement.

In March, the UN Security Council rejected a Moscow-drafted resolution calling for an independent inquiry into the sabotage.