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Tags: nato | undersea | infrastructure | russian | attacks

NATO Fears Russia Attacking Undersea Infrastructure

By    |   Tuesday, 25 June 2024 08:39 AM EDT

NATO is taking steps to prevent Russia from damaging European undersea infrastructure.

The 32-nation alliance has formed an undersea infrastructure coordination group consisting of military and civilian officials, along with top representatives from the private sector, Foreign Policy reported.

"We know the potential is there to do damage if they would want to," one NATO senior official told the outlet. "Part of Russian war planning is knowing where the critical infrastructure of your enemy is."

Norway's undersea pipeline network provides about 40% of Europe's natural gas supply. Pipelines crisscrossing the North Sea to Europe carry roughly 97% percent of the world’s internet traffic and as much as $10 trillion in financial transactions every day.

"It is less kinetic and more a way for the Russians to show the West that 'we know you guys are quite challenged in securing that infrastructure,'" said Sebastian Bruns, a naval expert at the Center for Maritime Strategy and Security at the Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University in Germany, Foreign Policy reported.

"They would be tackling the very seams of what ties our societies together."

NATO's undersea infrastructure coordination group is based out of the alliance’s Maritime Command in the London suburb of Northwood.

"The question is connecting all the dots and creating a network," the official said of the group's work.

NATO allies are working to create a massive alert system — relying on sensors from the cables as well as acoustic sensors attached to wind turbines — for the thousands of miles of undersea infrastructure in Northern Europe.

"NATO processes, I think, are sort of in a very early phase," said Audun Halvorsen, director of the emergency department for the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, Foreign Policy reported.

"They are basically trying to map out the landscape when it comes to jurisdictions, when it comes to authorities involved. You are facing a huge range of different regulatory regimes for the industry around the undersea basin."

In November, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg participated in a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union with EU defense ministers to discuss the protection of critical undersea infrastructure and the importance of continued support to Ukraine.

That meeting occurred following September 2022 attacks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines that transport natural gas from Russia to Germany.

In January 2022, one of two fiber optic cables linking the remote Arctic archipelago of Svalbard with mainland Norway was slashed open. The cables send data from satellites to the rest of the world.

Earlier this year, internet communications between Europe and Asia were disrupted after Houthi rebels damaged four underwater communication cables in the Red Sea, according to Israeli news site Globes.

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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NATO is taking steps to prevent Russia from damaging European undersea infrastructure.The 32-nation alliance has formed an undersea infrastructure coordination group consisting of military and civilian officials, along with top representatives from the private sector,...
nato, undersea, infrastructure, russian, attacks
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2024-39-25
Tuesday, 25 June 2024 08:39 AM
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