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NATO to Establish New Unit for Monitoring Pipelines & Critical Infrastructure Protection

NATO will set up a new protection unit to ensure safety of pipelines and critical infrastructure in the oceans, especially the Atlantic. After the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines bombing last year, NATO has also set up a coordination cell in Brussels to monitor especially endangered pipelines and subsea cables with better precision.

Jun 19, 2023


NATO is set to establish a new unit for further protection of pipelines and other critical infrastructure in the oceans, with special focus on the Atlantic. The unit will serve as a strengthened maritime presence for deterrence and defense of NATO countries. The Maritime Centre for the Security of Critical Undersea Infrastructure will be based in Northwood near London. Critical infrastructure to be protected also comprises power lines, regasification units, refineries, nuclear power plants, as well as hydroelectric power plants, wind farms and solar power plants. Following the sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines last year, NATO’s energy infrastructures’ protection concept has evolved multifold. NATO has prepared a coordination cell in Brussels in order to monitor pipelines and subsea cables especially endangered by underwater drones and submarines, with better precision.

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A senior NATO official has confirmed reports that Russia is using research vessels and covert “spy ship” trawlers to survey subsea cables and pipelines in Western Europe, potentially as a prelude to a future attack. “The Russians are more active than we’ve seen them in years in this domain [subsea survey],” NATO assistant secretary general for intelligence, David Cattler, told Politico. “When you look at the evidence of their activities now, the places they are doing surveys, overlaid with this critical undersea infrastructure you can see that they are at least signaling that they have the intent and the capability to take action.”

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