File photo from September 2021, provided by Nord Stream 2 AG, showing experts on the barge Fortuna carrying out an underwater connection during the final construction phase of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea ( Nord Stream 2 AG / Handout ) Out of service due to the war in Ukraine, the Nord Stream gas pipelines linking Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea were both affected by spectacular leaks preceded by underwater explosions, the Union European Union promising the “strongest possible response” to this “sabotage”. The three large leaks identified since Monday off the Danish island of Bornholm, between southern Sweden and Poland, are visible on the surface with bubbling ranging from 200 meters to one kilometer in diameter, announced Tuesday the Danish army, supporting images. The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline had suffered a sharp drop in pressure on Monday, followed a few hours later by Nord Stream 1, which follows the route under the Baltic. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote on Twitter on Tuesday evening that she had “spoken about the Nord Stream act of sabotage” with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. Satellite image taken September 26, 2022, released September 27, 2022 by Planet Labs PBC, showing a gas leak on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline off the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea (2022 Planet Labs PBC / Handout) “It is paramount to investigate the incidents and shed full light on the events (…) Any deliberate disruption of Europe’s active energy infrastructure is unacceptable and will lead to the strongest response possible,” added Ms von der Leyen. Shortly before, the Danish Prime Minister had declared that “the clear opinion of the authorities is that these are deliberate acts. We are not talking about an accident”. “Explosions have taken place and it is probably about sabotage”, added the resigning Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, who takes care of current affairs after the lost elections on September 11. Like Denmark, Sweden does not see this as an act of aggression against it, the incidents having taken place outside territorial waters, in the exclusive economic zones. According to Copenhagen, the leaks should last “at least a week”, until all the gas has come out of the two structures. The gas leak at the Nord Stream 2 pipeline seen from a Danish Defense F-16 off the island of Bornholm. Photo released by the Danish military on September 27, 2022 ( DANISH DEFENSE / Handout ) The Swedish seismic institute recorded two underwater explosions, “most likely due to detonations”, before the incident, like its Norwegian and Danish equivalents . – Arm wrestling – Map of the area where gas leaks were detected on the route of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipeline ( AFP / ) Objects of geopolitical arm wrestling in recent months, the two pipelines operated by a consortium dependent on the Russian giant Gazprom are not operational because of the consequences of the war in Ukraine. But both were still full of gas. The Kremlin, towards which many eyes have turned, said it was “extremely concerned”, believing that “no” hypothesis should be excluded, including sabotage. In kyiv, the adviser to the Ukrainian presidency, Mykhaïlo Podoliak denounced “a planned terrorist attack” by Moscow, without providing evidence. The Polish prime minister also suggested Russian involvement. “We clearly see that this is an act of sabotage, which probably marks the next stage in the escalation of the situation in Ukraine,” said Mateusz Morawiecki, who just inaugurated a gas pipeline linking Norway to Poland on Tuesday. Photo released on September 27, 2022 by the Danish military showing the gas leak on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, seen from an airplane, off the Danish island of Bornholm, in the Baltic Sea ( DANISH DEFENSE / Handout ) “We don’t “We are not ruling out any scenarios, but we are not going to speculate on the motives or the actors” who may be involved, explained Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde. “There is no information yet telling us anything about who is responsible,” said Frederiksen. On the American side, Washington refused to “confirm” an act of sabotage. The pipeline operator, the Nord Stream Consortium, acknowledged that “an incident in which three pipes simultaneously experience difficulties on the same day is not ordinary”, according to a spokesperson. Installations of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, on August 30, 2022 in Lubmin, in northeastern Germany, near the border with Poland ( AFP / Odd ANDERSEN ) – “Extremely rare” – Denmark dispatched to the scene two military ships accompanied by helicopters, and placed its energy infrastructure on orange alert, the second highest level of vigilance. “Gas pipeline leaks are extremely rare and we therefore see a reason to increase the level of vigilance” after the incidents of the last 24 hours, explained the director of the Danish Energy Agency, Kristoffer Böttzauw. Installations of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline on March 1, 2022 in Lubmin, northeastern Germany, near the border with Poland ( AFP / John MACDOUGALL ) Nord Stream 2, completed in 2021, was intended to double the capacity to import Russian gas into Germany. Its commissioning was suspended in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine. As for Nord Stream 1, Gazprom gradually reduced the volumes of gas delivered until the pipeline was completely shut down in late August, blaming Western sanctions for delaying necessary repairs to the facility. Navigation was prohibited within a radius of five nautical miles (about nine kilometers) around the three leaks, as well as their overflight within a radius of one kilometer. File photo from November 8, 2011, showing (front row, from left) ex-French Prime Minister François Fillon, ex-German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, ex-President Russian Dmitry Medvedev, former European Commissioner for Energy Guenther Oettinger, former Prime Minister of the German region of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Erwin Sellering opening a symbolic valve at the inauguration of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, in Lubmin (Germany) ( AFP / John MACDOUGALL ) According to the Danish authorities, the incidents have no consequences for the safety or health of local residents. The direct environmental impact should also be limited, although unburned natural gas has a powerful greenhouse effect.