North Sea countries sign pact to combat Russian sabotage

Belgium is joining forces with five other countries to improve the security of cables, pipelines and energy parks in the North Sea, minister Paul Van Tigchelt announced on Tuesday.

"There is a lot of critical infrastructure in the North Sea, such as pipelines, power and data cables. Sabotage could seriously disrupt our energy supply, internet connection or banking traffic," said Van Tigchelt , the minister responsible for North Sea matters. The threat is real; we cannot be naive about it."

At the North Sea Summit in April last year, several countries met to discuss better cooperation on the security of energy and telecommunications infrastructure, resulting in the North Sea Security Pact, signed by Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, the UK and Denmark. The pact aims to ensure that offshore and underwater infrastructure receives the same level of security across borders.

Potential risks and threats will also be considered when developing infrastructure, including providing landing sites for aerial and underwater drones, underwater acoustic detection shields and camera security.

Belgium has provided 1 million euros to the pact to set up NorthSeal, a secure platform for information exchange between the participating countries.

China and Russia

While these countries are working together to ensure security against Russia, China aims to join forces with the country's government. The head of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov, arrived in China on Monday for a two-day official visit to discuss reinforcing the two countries' diplomatic ties.

"China will support Russia's stable development under Putin's leadership," Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi said, according to Russian news agency RIA Novosti. "Beijing and Moscow will continue to strengthen strategic cooperation on the world stage and provide each other with strong support. I believe the Russian people will have a bright future under the strong leadership of President Putin."


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