VILNIUS – Lithuania has already taken additional steps to bolster security around the Klaipeda liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the wake of explosions in the Nord Stream gas pipeline running under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, a public security official said on Thursday.
According to Anatolijus Didenko, commander of the Klaipeda unit of the Lithuanian Public Security Service, the number of armed officers guarding the facility has been increased from six to eight and a round-the-clock rapid response team of two to four officers has been set up.
"No doubt, security is being stepped up," Didenko told BNS. " We have increased the number of people when it comes to the LNG terminal protection, and we have a response group ready to react to incidents around the clock, should any occur."
"Decisions to beef up security were made immediately after the incident in the Baltic Sea," he added.
The Public Security Service was placed on a higher alert status after the government declared a state of emergency following Russia's invasion of Ukraine on January 24, according to the Klaipeda unit commander.
"Since then, we have been on combat readiness and respond to any incidents," he said. "We have stepped up patrols and (...) video surveillance (...), and our officers respond more quickly to incidents," he said.
Orinta Barkauskaite, spokeswoman for Klaipedos Nafta, the LNG terminal's operator, told BNS that the level of protection of the company's infrastructure had been increased since the start of the war in Ukraine.
LNG carriers arriving in Klaipeda are escorted by the Naval Force and the Lithuanian Police Anti-Terrorist Operations Unit (ARAS), she said.
President Gitanas Nauseda said on Thursday that Lithuania had been taking additional measures to step up the protection of the Klaipeda LNG terminal following the Nord Stream blasts.