Bhe explosions on the pipes of Nord Stream Pipelines 1 and 2 were a “serious act of sabotage”. This was announced by the public prosecutor responsible for investigating the leaks in Sweden’s exclusive economic zone and the Swedish domestic intelligence service Säpo on Friday.
Chief Prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist said in a statement that there had been “extensive confiscations” during investigations into the crime scene. Säpo also writes about several foreign bodies that have been secured. “The analyzes now carried out show explosive residues on several of the foreign objects found,” said Ljungqvist. However, they did not comment on a possible suspect or cause.
Germany helped with the investigation
At the end of September, a total of four leaks in three of the four pipes in the pipeline were discovered within a few hours. Both pipes of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline were affected, through which Russia had stopped delivering gas to Germany weeks earlier, and one pipe of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which never went into operation, but still with gas was filled.
The leaks are near the Danish island of Bornholm, partly in the Swedish and partly in the Danish Exclusive Economic Zone. The Swedes investigated the leaks in their economic zone, and Germany also helped with the investigations. “The cooperation with the authorities in Sweden and other countries is excellent,” said Ljungqvist.
For the continuation of the preliminary investigations and for the various ongoing collaborations, it is important to be able to work in peace, he said. The advanced analytical work would continue in order to “draw more reliable conclusions about the incident”. The preliminary investigation was very complex and extensive, said the public prosecutor. “The ongoing investigation will show whether anyone can be suspected of a crime.”
The Kremlin felt confirmed by the traces of explosives found by Sweden’s public prosecutor. “The fact that information about an act of sabotage or terrorism is now arriving” proves only once more the information “that the Russian side had and has,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, according to the Interfax news agency. But it is now important to find out who was behind the blast, he added. Russian President Vladimir Putin has indicated in the past that he blames either the United States or Britain for the leaks.
Peskow called speculation about a repair of Nord Stream premature. First of all, it is necessary to calculate the extent of the damage. This calculation would have to be made by experts from the Nord Stream operating company, who, according to him, have now also gained access to the site of the accident.