Former German three-star general Hans-Werner Wiermann will lead NATO's new coordination cell for better protection of pipelines and other critical infrastructure at sea. This was announced by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday after a meeting of the defense ministers of the alliance states in Brussels.
Wiermann was retired last August in Berlin with a big tattoo. Before that, the lieutenant general had been chief of the international military staff at NATO headquarters in Brussels for three years.
The establishment of the new coordination cell is the military alliance's response to the alleged acts of sabotage against the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipelines. In the next step, particularly endangered pipelines or underwater cables could then be better monitored - for example with underwater drones or submarines.
Severe damage and several underwater leaks were discovered on the two tubes of Nord Stream 1 and one tube of Nord Stream 2 in the Baltic Sea after explosions at the end of September. According to previous knowledge, at least two detonations had occurred, leading to four leaks. The leaks in the pipelines that run from Russia to Germany are near the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm, partly in Danish and partly in Swedish waters. Enormous amounts of gas escaped for days.
The EU, NATO and security circles, among others, immediately spoke of sabotage as the cause of the explosions. So far it is unclear who is responsible for this.
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