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Norway says allies to help patrol oil and gas platforms at sea

Norway’s allies will help patrol the country’s oil and gas platforms at sea after Western countries declared leaks in the Nord Stream gas pipelines a likely act of sabotage, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said.

“We’re in a dialogue with our allies regarding increased presence in the Norwegian (offshore) sector and have said yes to contributions from Germany, France and Britain,” Støre told a press conference Friday, Reuters reported. “It’s natural that our allies sail alongside our ships.”

Støre did not elaborate on how much assistance the countries would give Norway, according to Reuters.

U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday said the leaks were the result of a “deliberate act of sabotage” without directly pointing out a culprit.

“We’ll work with our allies to get to the bottom exactly, precisely what happened,” Biden said. The U.S. would also send divers to the leak sites “at the appropriate moment when things calm down,” he said.

The leaks hit the Nord Stream I pipeline, which has been shut down completely since early September, and its planned twin Nord Stream II earlier this week. Seismologists detected explosions in the area.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has already condemned the “sabotage” and “deliberate disruption of active European energy infrastructure.” 

The explosions came amid heightened tensions between Russia and Western allies as Russia orchestrated referendums in several parts of Ukraine, preparing the regions for potential annexation of Russia. The EU and others have slammed the referendums as a “sham.”

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