Sweden confirms Nord Stream September explosions were acts of sabotage
Although the analyses in the investigation are still not complete, traces of explosives were located at the scene of the explosions in the Baltic Sea.
It was confirmed on Friday by Sweden that the explosions that targeted Nord Stream pipelines, carrying natural gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea in September, were acts of sabotage.
The prosecutor leading the preliminary investigation, Mats Ljungqvist, said in a statement, "The analyses conducted found traces of explosives on several foreign objects" found at the sites of the blasts," adding that technical analyses were still undergoing to "draw more reliable conclusions regarding the incident."
Sweden's Prosecution Authority said the "continued investigation will show if anyone can be formally suspected of a crime."
On October 29, Russia's Defense Ministry revealed that the explosion of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea, which carry gas from Russia to Europe, early on September 26, involved the UK Royal Navy, with the Ministry saying the UK had a hand “in the planning and realization of the terrorist act."
In a statement, the Ministry said, "According to the obtained data, the UK Navy representatives took part in planning, organizing, and carrying out the terrorist act in the Baltic Sea on September 26, 2022 to blow up the Nord Stream-1 and Nord Stream-2 gas pipelines."
Back in September, according to Nord Stream AG, the pipeline's operator, the pressure drop on both Nord Stream strings allows it to confidently assume that the leakage of the gas pipeline is caused by physical damage, and the locations of damage are in the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of Denmark and Sweden, respectively.
Sweden is leading the investigation due to the fact that two of the pipelines lie in its economic zone, although in international waters, and two others in Denmark's. Nord Stream sent a Russian-flagged civilian vessel back in October in an attempt to look into the damage in the pipelines, which connect Russia to Germany.
Denmark and Sweden have barred Russia from investigating the attack. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said this exclusion highlighted the West's double standards.
This is despite that Russia may be in possession of valuable leads, such as the finding of a NATO mine destroyer that was discovered around the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline in November 2015.
Geopolitical tensions have been the result of the pipelines after Russia halted gas supplies to Europe in retaliation to Western sanctions against it for the war in Ukraine. Both the US and Russia have denied being involved and have blamed each other for the damages.
In light of the whole debacle, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov underlined last month that the scenario surrounding Russia's Nord Stream pipelines is first and foremost beneficial to the United States, which is interested in forcing competitors off the European natural gas market.
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