For days, natural gas has flowed unhindered from four leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines. According to the authorities, the situation has now eased. It remains unclear who is behind the alleged act of sabotage. The traffic light government says it is "very difficult" to find someone responsible.
According to Danish authorities, no more gas is leaking from the damaged Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea. The operator, Nord Stream AG, had been informed that the pressure in the pipeline at Nord Stream 1 had now stabilized, the authority announced on Twitter in the afternoon. This indicates that no more gas is escaping. The Danes had already announced the same status for Nord Stream 2 on Saturday. Previously, large amounts of gas had escaped continuously for days from the four leaks in the two pipelines - two of them in Swedish waters, two in Danish waters.
After several overflights over the area on Sunday afternoon, the Swedish authorities announced that gas was still escaping in areas of around 100 meters and the smaller leak around 15 meters in diameter. Although this was significantly less than a few days ago, it was the same as on Saturday. Forecasts are still assuming that there, too, the gas leak will stop on Sunday. According to the Swedish Coast Guard, there is no explanation as to why this happened more quickly in Danish waters.
Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann considers German investigations into the explosions on the Baltic Sea pipelines to be conceivable. It is "possible that a crime was committed here for which the Attorney General could take over the prosecution," he told the "Bild am Sonntag". An investigation by the Attorney General in the case would "possibly involve anti-constitutional sabotage with effects on Germany," said the FDP politician. The criminal offense of causing an explosives explosion is also an option.
Should such a suspicion be confirmed, "the Attorney General would step in and officially investigate," said the minister. "We would hunt down those responsible - with all the instruments available to our constitutional state," said Buschmann. "The goal would be to get hold of the perpetrators and bring them to justice in Germany."
Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht was more reserved. When asked about Buschmann's statements, the former Federal Minister of Justice said on the ARD program "Report from Berlin" that the case initially shows "how sensitively we have to deal with the critical infrastructure in the pipeline area" and elsewhere. "That's why legal assessments aren't getting us any further. It's important now that we ensure that we are well prepared in terms of our critical infrastructure."
Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has already announced an investigation into the incidents by a joint investigative team from Germany, Denmark and Sweden. Lambrecht said on ARD that Germany is "of course now also evaluating movements in these areas together with allies in order to be able to assign responsibilities". However, that is "very difficult because there is a lot of movement in this area".