May 22, 2024
A Navy plane flew near the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea hours after an explosion caused the pipelines to rupture, according to a report published Friday revealed.

A Navy plane flew near the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea hours after an explosion caused the pipelines to rupture, according to a report published Friday revealed.

At the time of the explosion, data from the flight showed a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance plane was over the North Sea. The same plane flew as close as 15 miles from the reported site of the burst less than three hours later, at 2:44 a.m. GMT. U.S. officials claimed the plane was conducting routine reconnaissance at the time.

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“The U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft shown in the tracking data conducted a routine Baltic Sea maritime reconnaissance flight, unrelated to the leaks from the Nord Stream pipelines,” a Navy spokesperson told Reuters.

There is a gap in the flight data between 3:39 a.m. GMT and 6:20 a.m. GMT, but the plane flew approximately 2 miles north of the reported leak site on its way back to Poland, where the plane was stationed, around 7 a.m. GMT, the outlet reported.

Two Nord Stream pipelines unexpectedly ruptured last month, causing three separate leaks in the pipelines, which are crucial for energy flow into Russia, Ukraine, and other surrounding countries. Some Western officials have surmised the explosions may have been acts of “sabotage,” but they have stopped short of placing any official blame on a specific country as investigations are underway.

Some U.S. officials have claimed that Russia is the leading suspect, although the Kremlin has repeatedly denied any involvement. The Kremlin has blamed the United States and its allies for the ruptures, but the U.S. military has denied any role in the incident.

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The pipelines are no longer leaking methane into the ocean, Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom announced Monday.

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