EU Weighs NATO Role to Shield Energy Links From Russian Attack

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European Union ministers will discuss next week what role the North Atlantic Treaty Organization can play in protecting the continent’s energy infrastructure from possible attack following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Belgium, which holds the rotating presidency of the bloc, will ask member states what contribution the military alliance could make in combating a wide range of threats, including sabotage, cyber attacks and hybrid warfare tactics, according to a background document seen by Bloomberg News. The EU’s 27 member states will also discuss how to finance cross-border infrastructure.

“The war against Ukraine has shown that energy has been, is, and probably will remain deliberately and actively weaponized,” the background document states. “In order to create an energy system that contributes to all member states’ security and Europe’s sovereignty, it must be accepted that a strategic, military aspect has forcibly been attached to the civil nature of energy.”

Monitoring energy infrastructure across 27 member states and their seas is no easy task, especially as the bloc moves toward a more digital energy grid and roles out decentralized renewables.

Since the invasion more than two years ago, the EU has seen its energy infrastructure targeted by possible sabotage, the most startling example of which was a number of explosions in the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines in September 2022. Another pipeline connecting Finland and Estonia was damaged last year, while Russian naval vessels have been seen passing through the English Channel.

It comes amid heightened concerns over the bloc’s energy security as it rapidly tries to sever its involvement with Russian fossil fuels. Ukraine’s power infrastructure has been extensively targeted by Moscow.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

By John Ainger


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