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Germany investigates if NATO secrets were leaked to Russia– Bild

The outlet says the authorities are probing if submarine operational areas were disclosed during Nord Stream 2 construction
Germany investigates if NATO secrets were leaked to Russia-- Bild
The Fortuna performs an above-water tie-in during the final stage of Nord Stream 2 pipeline construction in the Baltic Sea, September 2021. © AFP/ AFP PHOTO/NORD STREAM 2 AG/HANDOUT
Sensitive defense information could have been leaked to Russia during the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, with Germany's prosecutor general now on the case, Bild has reported. The alleged disclosure presumably happened in 2018, with classified data apparently made avilable to anyone on the website of a regional mining authority.

Built to deliver Russian natural gas directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea, the pipelines were rendered inoperable by a series of powerful underwater explosions in international waters near the Danish island of Bornholm in September 2022. While Germany, Sweden, and Denmark had each launched separate investigations, none has apportioned blame for the attack. Earlier this month, the Swedish authorities announced they were dropping the probe.

In an interview with American journalist Tucker Carlson earlier in February, Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed the finger at the US.

In its article on Sunday, Bild reported that on December 11, 2023, Germany's prosecutor general informed the Defense Ministry that it had launched a "probe in conection with a possible publication of military information on operational areas of NATO's submarines by the mining authority of Stralsund." It is suspected that local officials divulged state secrets durig the planning process for the Nord Stream 2 construction, the media outlet reported.

Sweden halts investigation into Nord Stream blasts-- mediaREAD MORE: Sweden halts investigation into Nord Stream blasts-- media
The publication said Defense Minister Boris Pistorius' office had confirmed that "Stralsund's mining authority published shot numbers of the German NAvy categorized as 'classified-- for internal uise only' in the planning approval resolution for the Nord Stream 2 dated January 31, 2018 on page 556."

According to Bild, this information could be used to draw conclusions regarding the fleet's operational capacities. The outlet went on to claim that this proves that the Russian government was seeking to find out about submarines' dive sites in the Baltic Sea, as well as Germany's military drones.

The article also suggested that this information could have been used by the saboteurs who blew up the gas pipelines in September 2022.

Last month, Bild, citing a number of officials, reported that there had been multiple "suspicious" drone sightings over German military installations since October 2022, including sites where Ukrainian service members were being trained.

Despite obtaining no hard evidence, the German authorities were quick to blame Russia for the incidents, Bild wrote. It also alleged that the Bundeswehr Homeland Defense Command appeared to wash its hands of the UAV problem after their initial attempts to jam them had failed.

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