Robert HARNEIS -TDO- (FRANCE)- Nord Stream 2 AG has complained about provocations by foreign, including Polish, civilian and military vessels against the fleet that is currently finishing the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

The director of Nord Stream 2 AG, Andrey Minin, yesterday denounced the fact that the fleet responsible for finishing the construction of the pipeline is regularly provoked by foreign civilian and military vessels.

“We are talking about clearly planned and prepared provocations, using fishing vessels as well as military ships, submarines and aircraft, in order to hinder the implementation of the economic project. This is perhaps the first case of its kind, without precedent in history,” he said.

For example, on 22 February, a Polish fishing vessel, SWI-106, entered the fleet’s working area from the south while it was laying pipes for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline south of the Danish island of Bornholm.

The construction fleet then tried to establish radio contact, but to no avail. The Polish fishing vessel did not respond and continued to close in. A supply ship from the fleet then reversed course to act as a shield and protect the pipe-laying barge.

“Repeated attempts to establish radio contact with it failed. In this situation, the supply vessel Vladislav Strizhev was forced to reverse course, which resulted in the collision of the SWI-106 with the Vladislav Strijzhev. After the collision, the master of the fishing vessel made contact. A maritime protest has been lodged through the Russian consulate in Germany regarding this incident”, says the director of Nord Stream 2 AG.

The Polish fishing boat actually hit the supply ship. If it had been the barge laying the pipes, the damage could have been extensive.

The company claims the reason Nord Stream 2 AG did not immediately protest was that they thought it was an isolated incident. But recently they say the company has come to realize that it was an organized provocation.

From the second half of March, the number of low-level flights by foreign aircraft over the ships laying the pipes increased. Polish PZL-Mielec M-28B1 Rbi anti-submarine aircraft regularly carried out low-level, short-range overflights of the Nord Stream 2 fleet.

28 March, an unidentified submarine in a surface position appeared in the Fortuna’s protection zone, less than a mile away. At such a distance, the submarine could have hit the anchor lines of the pipe-laying barge and damaged the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

The day after the surprise submarine visit, a Polish warship (number 823) maneuvered around the Fortuna. The supply ship Karev sailed parallel to the warship to protect the barge.

On 30 March, the night radar of the Karev detected two objects in the vicinity, one of which was heading towards the Fortuna and was not responding to radio calls, as in the incident of 22 February. The supply ship was then sent to intercept the intruder, with searchlights on to attract attention.

 “The actions of warships and aircraft, as well as civilian vessels of foreign states, violating the construction protection zone of the international project, not responding to requests and approaching the pipe-laying barge at an unsafe distance are irresponsible and unacceptable. They are creating a real threat of emergency situations with unpredictable consequences,” added the Nord Stream 2 Director.

Poland has denied that its navy was carrying out provocations against the Nord Stream 2 fleet, but admitted that its planes regularly carried out reconnaissance patrols in the Baltic Sea.

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