ROME, Sep 29 – PRIME. Italian Minister for Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani considers Russia’s proposal to investigate the incident on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines as a positive signal. He also expressed hope for such a mission.
“This is a disturbing development, of course. There is an ongoing investigation and it is difficult to make assumptions. But we certainly have to ask ourselves who benefits from this. If I understand correctly, Russia is proposing a joint inspection, and this seems to me an interesting signal. We hope that it can be done,” he told la Stampa newspaper.
Commenting on the aftermath of the explosions, the minister noted that gas prices have risen after recently falling due to “pressure to impose a ceiling on gas prices.”
“Now there are huge problems. First of all, because the area is not navigable. There is also a risk of an explosion, and it is impossible to easily carry out checks. You have to wait until the pipe is empty, and these are very difficult technical issues. This is a very difficult situation and huge damage,” he said, commenting on German media reports that Nord Stream may no longer return to operation.
Leak incidents occurred on September 26 at two gas pipelines at once. The authorities of Denmark and Sweden reported the discovery of two leaks at Nord Stream and one at Nord Stream 2 near the island of Bornholm. Germany, Denmark and Sweden do not rule out targeted sabotage.
Russia officially requested information about the incident at Nord Stream from Denmark as soon as the incident became known. The Danish authorities notified Russia of the explosions at the site of the gas leak. The Nord Stream operator Nord Stream AG reported that these emergency situations are unprecedented, and it is impossible to estimate the repair time.
The work of Nord Stream has been suspended since the end of August due to problems with the repair of Siemens turbines caused by Western sanctions. However, the pipeline remained filled with gas. Nord Stream 2, completed in 2021 but never put into operation, has also already been filled with gas.