Days after Dutch Intelligence complained of a Russian ship mapping their North Sea wind parks, Belgium has revealed that the same has happened along their North Sea coast.
A Russian vessel was surveying Belgium’s energy links along the North Sea in November last year, and they reportedly switched off the AIS beacon to prevent tracking the ship. Belgium maritime authorities are investigating the matter and stepping up security along the North Sea coast.
The Belgium North Sea Minister, Vincent Van Quickenborne, underlined the security issue if the ship hovers around its undersea data cables, gas pipelines, wind farms, and other energy infrastructure. They are particularly interested in gathering information about offshore wind firms.
Although their motive isn’t known, they are not taking any chances. The same ship was reportedly seen along the Netherlands coast.
Belgium underlined that this ship’s passage in the North Sea should be viewed in context with the Ukrainian War. NATO and its western allies are trying to build their defence as they fear Russian aggression in retaliation for their support of Ukraine.
Last September, the Nord Stream pipelines were bombed, cutting off Russian natural gas supply to Germany, and many see Moscow’s hand behind it, even though there isn’t any evidence. NATO and the EU declared a joint working group to protect their energy infrastructure on January 11.
References: Defense Post, National News, MSN