Nord Stream Insurers Deny Policies Covered War Risks In UK Lawsuit

Nord Stream’s insurers have denied that their policies provide cover for gas pipelines damaged by blasts in 2022 because the damage was caused by war, in their written defense to a lawsuit filed at London’s High Court.

Nord Stream is seeking more than 400 million euros ($427 million) from its insurers over the explosions which ruptured pipelines designed to transport Russian gas to Germany.

It named Lloyd’s Insurance Company and Arch Insurance (EU) DAC as defendants in the suit.

Sweden – which in February dropped its investigation – and Germany have both found traces of explosives relating to the incident that ruptured the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, suggesting it was a deliberate act.

In their written defense, dated April 8 and first reported by Kommersant daily on Thursday, the insurers said Nord Stream’s policy did not cover damage “directly or indirectly” resulting from war, military actions or the detonation of explosives.

The insurers also stated that the policy does not cover any damage which happened “under the order of any government.”

“The defendants will rely on … the fact that the explosion damage could only have – or, at least, was more likely than not to have – been inflicted by or under the order of a government,” the insurers’ lawyer said.

Gazprom, which built the pipelines, and Nord Stream AG did not reply to requests for comment.

In an email, Lloyd’s said it is not at liberty to discuss individual policies or policyholders, nor can it comment on matters in litigation.

A spokesperson for Arch said the company does not comment on legal matters.

Russia and the West, at loggerheads over Moscow’s conflict with Ukraine, have pointed fingers at one another. Each has denied any involvement, and no one has taken responsibility.

(Reporting by Soldatkin in Moscow and Tobin in London; Editing by Jan Harvey and Sharon Singleton)