NATO vows 'united' response if Putin targets UK energy supplies after Nord Stream leak

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    The Secretary-General of NATO has vowed retaliation against Vladimir Putin if he deliberately attacks the alliance’s energy supplies. Jens Stoltenberg said that such an attack, which could plunge Europe into darkness this winter, would be met with a “united and determined response”. This threat is a response to fears that Russia could target Europe’s gas pipelines and electricity cables, particularly following the leaks in Russia’s Nord Stream pipelines. Last month, several leaks emerged in the two Russian-built pipelines that supply gas to Germany, with NATO and the EU accusing Russia of sabotage, while Putin has blamed the US.

    Since then, NATO has been on high alert, as fears grow that Russia could target other European gas pipelines, like the ones in Norway that supply 60 percent of the UK’s gas. 

    Such a leak would plunge the UK into a major energy security nightmare and could trigger major power shortages and blackouts this winter, particularly as National Grid is predicted to import 1.4 GW from Norway.

    Aside from gas pipelines, experts have also warned that subsea electricity cables, which run across the Baltic Sea connecting countries like France, Netherlands, Norway, Germany and UK at risk.

    To prevent such a scenario, Mr Stoltenberg pledged to boost the protection of critical energy infrastructure adding that the alliance has doubled its presence in the Baltic and the North Sea to more than 30 ships supported by aircraft and undersea activities.

    In a speech on Tuesday, he also noted that NATO was monitoring Russia’s nuclear forces closely as the country was “losing on the battlefield” in Ukraine.

    Meanwhile, Moscow has issued a fresh warning to the West over its support for Ukraine, with Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov saying the Kremlin will take adequate countermeasures in response to the West’s “growing involvement”.

    In the comments reported by the state-owned RIA news agency, he said: “We warn and hope that they realise the danger of uncontrolled escalation in Washington and other Western capitals.”

    Since the Nord Stream explosions, experts have warned Express.co.uk that not only were the leaks intentional, it was likely triggered by Russia as a threat to the rest of the European countries that have similar undersea pipelines and cables.

    READ MORE: Energy outage as undersea cables near Nord Stream pipeline cut

    Meanwhile, Harry Buckle, author of ‘Just One Day’, who has also worked with MI6, says that Britain should also be focusing on its vulnerable network of subsea internet cables.

    He told Express.co.uk: “Vladimir Putin is unlikely to be the least bit concerned that, in light of the three massive holes in the Nord Stream pipeline supplying Russian gas to Europe, that the Royal Navy has deployed a frigate to patrol those vital gas pipelines.

    “Their mission is also to protect the now even more crucial new pipeline from Norway to Europe and indeed subsea cables”. But Mr Buckle stressed that the “current focus is on gas pipelines.”

    This comes after Defence Secretary Ben Wallace warned that the “mysterious” attack on the Nord Stream pipelines should remind us of how “fragile” Britain’s energy and internet infrastructure are to “hybrid attacks”.



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