COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The NATO military alliance warned Thursday it would retaliate for any attacks on the critical infrastructure of its 30 member countries and joined other Western officials in citing sabotage as the likely cause of damage to two natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea.
The warning came as the Swedish coast guard confirmed a fourth leak on the pipelines off southern Sweden, which is in the process of joining NATO. The first leaks in the pipelines that extend from Russia to Germany were reported on Tuesday, prompting energy companies and European governments to beef up security.
The fear of further damage to Europe’s energy infrastructure has added pressure on natural gas prices, which had already been soaring. Russia, a major supplier to Europe, cut off deliveries earlier this year in retaliation for sanctions imposed after its invasion of Ukraine. That has caused widespread economic pain across the continent.