EU, NATO Agreed to Establish Task Force to Protect Critical Infrastructure

The European Union and NATO agreed on Wednesday to form a task force to bolster protection and resilience of energy and other critical infrastructure, European Commission President von der Leyen said. The Western nations, the EU and NATO have ramped up security measures, including surveillance and defense capabilities, following explosions on two Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea at the end of September last year, which Swedish and Danish authorities said was sabotage.

“One important new focus for our cooperation is the security of our critical infrastructure, where we have to step up the cooperation. We have seen the sabotage of Nord Stream that has shown that we need to be ready and that we need to confront this new type of threats,” von der Leyen said after a meeting with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg.

“The new EU-NATO Task Force for Resilient Critical Infrastructure will work to identify threats and vulnerabilities, develop key principles to improve resilience, and propose mitigating measures and remedial actions”, von der Leyen added.

“Resilience and the protection of critical infrastructure are a key part of our joint efforts, as we have seen both with Putin’s weaponizing of energy, and the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines.” Stoltenberg said.

“We want to look together at how to make our critical infrastructure, technology and supply chains more resilient to potential threats, and to take action to mitigate potential vulnerabilities,” Stoltenberg added.

At the end of September last year, gas leaks in both Nord Stream pipelines were detected just outside Swedish and Danish territorial waters in the Baltic Sea. An investigation by Sweden concluded that the leaks were the result of detonations, likely because of sabotage.

Nord Stream 2 was never put into operation after Germany axed the certification process following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. And Russia shut down Nord Stream 1 indefinitely in early September, claiming an inability to repair gas turbines because of the Western sanctions.

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