Moscow’s War on Ukraine: NATO Warns of Potential Sabotage of Undersea Cables

Russia may be planning sabotage on undersea cables in retaliation for Western support of Ukraine, according to NATO’s intelligence chief David Cattler. The threat to undersea infrastructure has been brought into sharper focus since attacks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines last year, and Cattler cautioned that Russia was more active in the Atlantic, North, and Baltic seas than previously. NATO has identified some 400 undersea cables as critical, with 200 considered key, and some responsible for ferrying 95% of internet traffic worldwide and an estimated $10tn worth of financial transactions each day. Cattler said NATO’s adversaries were realising “the huge strategic advantage” of being able to disrupt Western internet, energy, and financial systems, and Russia is actively mapping allied critical infrastructure. The alliance has boosted efforts to protect undersea links and last year established a Critical Undersea Infrastructure Protection Cell to improve cooperation with industry, capital, and experts.

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