It's not only the environment in the Baltic Sea but also human lives that are in grave danger as Russia ignores the fact that chemical war agents have been buried off Bornholm Island in the Baltic Sea along the route of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction, Ukrainian intelligence reports.
The rapid pace of pipe laying in Danish waters in the face of increasing political pressure to complete the works as soon as possible is a matter of concern, intelligence analysts believe, citing a major chemical hazard, the SZRU press service reports.
"The factor that ecologists had been warning about – chemical poisonous substances dating back to World War 2, which were buried at the sea bottom off Bornholm Island, has gained urgency. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline route passes next to this zone. Over the past half century, sea currents have moved a large number of containers holding chemical warfare agents and scattered them over a wide area around the island," it said.
It is noted that at least over the past 35 years, such containers and chemical ammo have been periodically found in the east and south of Bornholm.
To minimize environmental risks, Denmark, as a condition for granting permission to lay the pipeline in its waters, put forward the condition that the vessels with dynamic positioning (DP) be mandated.
"The Russian contractor in the project, Allseas, did have such vessels. However, having faced sanctions in 2019, it withdrew from the project and pulled out its vessels. In Russia, the only pipelayer with DP turned out to be Akademik Chersky. However, its technical condition had not zet allowed to apply the ship. Therefore, the Russian Federation has made significant efforts and secured changes in the Danish resolution, which greenlighted the use of anchor positioning. Now the pipelayer Fortuna is operating in the waters of Denmark, using 12 (!) anchors for positioning. And each of them runs the risk of hitting a hazardous object at the sea bottom," the report warns.
"Being aware of the high hazard level," the SZRU adds, "the Russians urgently delivered ampoules with atropine (an antidote set to be used in cases of poisoning with chemical warfare agents) to the vessel engaged in the work. However, despite the danger to the life and health of crew members and the ecosystem of the Baltic Sea as a whole, Russia continues to accelerate pipelaying works, concealing any such information from the public," the intelligence agency stressed.
Reporting by UNIAN