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Could the Kremlin target Britain’s gas supply? Experts fear Russia ‘is plotting to sabotage 5,500 mile Norway-UK pipeline’ in a move that could leave households freezing this winter
- Russia feared to be plotting sabotage of a gas pipeline between UK and Norway
- Moscow could target Langeled pipe, which carries a fifth of Britain’s natural gas
- Baltic Sea pipeline leaks, including Nord Stream, said to be by Russian saboteurs
- NATO source said could be punishment by Russia for Britain’s backing of Ukraine
Russia is feared to be plotting the sabotage of a gas pipeline between the UK and Norway to leave households in the cold this winter and punish Britain for its support of Ukraine.
Military and intelligence sources told the Daily Mail that Moscow could target the 5,500-mile Langeled pipeline, which carries a fifth of the natural gas used by Britain.
The Kremlin has weaponised energy supplies to Europe in response to sanctions, slashing deliveries to the EU.
Military and intelligence sources told the Daily Mail that Moscow could target the 5,500-mile Langeled pipeline, which carries a fifth of the natural gas used by Britain. Pictured: Easington gas terminal on the Yorkshire coast
Western leaders blamed ‘deliberate’ sabotage after the Nordsteam pipe from Russia suffered ‘unprecedented’ damage off Sweden – causing 3000ft-wide bubbles in the Baltic Sea and causing prices to spike
A series of unexplained leaks in energy pipelines under the Baltic Sea – including Germany’s Nord Stream 1 and 2 – are also believed to be the work of Russian saboteurs.
Running for 5,500-miles, Langeled is one of the world’s longest underwater gas pipelines.
It carries gas from the Ormen Lange field in the Norwegian Sea.
It runs from from the processing plant at Nyhamna on the mid-Norwegian coast to Easington gas terminal on the Yorkshire coast.
It is operated by Norwegian provider Gassco and provides up to a fifth of Britain’s natural gas supply.
‘Sabotage is the next step if they want to escalate by attacking Britain’s critical energy infrastructure because we are so fragile,’ said one Nato source.
‘And it’s no coincidence that Britain has been one of Ukraine’s biggest backers.’
Norway has become Europe’s largest gas supplier since the Kremlin cut back on deliveries to the Continent.
Stale Ulriksen, a researcher at the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy, said: ‘As a strategic target for sabotage, Norwegian gas pipelines are probably the highest value target in Europe.’
Another Nato official said the Langeled pipeline was an ‘obvious target… because Norway has become such a vital gas link for the UK and Europe’.
Drones have been spotted above energy installations, and Norwegian police have arrested seven Russians in a month after they were caught with drone equipment.
A Norwegian official told the Mail that Oslo believed the Kremlin was eyeing the pipeline ‘to break cohesion among Ukraine’s Western allies and disrupt the flow of gas’, adding: ‘When people start freezing and the flow of energy stops, people will turn around and say, “Just let Putin have whatever he wants and get the gas to come back on”.’
Gassco, the Norwegian firm that operates Langeled, is on its highest security alert, and British and Norwegian frigates are patrolling the area.
The Ministry of Defence said it was protecting ‘critical infrastructure’.
The Kremlin has weaponised energy supplies to Europe in response to sanctions, slashing deliveries to the EU
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