Top EU official vows to ‘stress test’ pipelines after leaks

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Top EU official vows to ‘stress test’ pipelines after leaks:

BELGIAN — Following the alleged sabotage of natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, the president of the European Union’s executive branch promised to impose checks on crucial EU infrastructure, particularly energy, on Wednesday.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, stated that the damage done last week to the Nord Stream pipelines connecting Germany and Russia has “shown how vulnerable our energy infrastructure is” and that a thorough plan is required to ensure the security of critical EU networks, including those used for data.

The European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, heard von der Leyen’s remarks that the infrastructure needed to be put through stress tests.

It is important to determine whether and where we are vulnerable. Furthermore, she mentioned that satellite surveillance would be employed to identify potential dangers.

The Nord Stream damage was caused by underwater explosions generated by several hundred pounds of explosives in four locations off southern Sweden and Denmark during Russia’s seven-month conflict against Ukraine and western military assistance for the Ukrainian government. Large methane leaks were brought on by the explosions in the Baltic Sea.

Von der Leyen asserted that her campaign for safety would involve national capitals because EU nations are in charge of regulating the energy sector and other essential infrastructure in the union.

She promised that “we will cooperate with member states to ensure efficient stress tests in the energy sector.” Then, other high-risk industries like the offshore digital and electrical infrastructure should come into play.

Also on Wednesday in Strasbourg, EU foreign policy leader Josep Borrell projected that the 27 member states of the bloc will agree to impose further sanctions on Russia in retaliation for its illegitimate annexation of four regions in Ukraine, which account for 15% of Ukrainian territory.

The proposed new sanctions include a limitation on the price of Russian oil, restrictions on EU exports of aircraft parts to the nation, and import restrictions on Russian steel. Diplomats from EU member states were to vote on the new package as early as Wednesday in Brussels.

The new restrictions add to the previously unheard-of European sanctions imposed on Russia as a result of its conflict with Ukraine since February.
Russian energy imports are currently restricted, financial transactions with Russian institutions, including the central bank, are prohibited, and more than a thousand persons and more than 100 entities have had their assets frozen as a result of EU steps.

 

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