Sweden, Denmark, Germany to investigate Nord Stream issue separately
Russia was previously barred from joining the investigation, a move that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov slammed as representative of the West's double standards.
German broadcaster ARD reported on Friday, citing sources with close ties to governments, that Sweden, Denmark, and Germany dismissed the joint investigation of the sabotage at Nord Stream pipelines.
The source added that each country will carry out its own investigation into the matter.
Sweden was the first to withdraw, then followed by Denmark, with the former using concern about secrecy as a pretext for the pull-out.
Earlier today, the German Interior Ministry said the federal police "finished establishing the circumstances" of sabotage at Nord Stream and that the findings are currently under examination.
On September 26, unprecedented damage to three threads of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines was discovered. Four explosions were observed by Swedish seismologists along the pipelines. "Two of these four are in Sweden's exclusive economic zone," while the remaining were in the Danish exclusive economic zone, according to a Swedish coast guard.
Investigators from Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) later started a criminal investigation into the blasts as an act of international terrorism. It is currently impossible to figure out how long it will take to restore the pipelines to operational capacity.
However, 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.
Russia has recently been on high alert in light of the surge in attempted acts of sabotage.
Besides the numerous failed attempts to sabotage the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, on October 8, a truck was blown up on the motorway section of the Crimean Bridge from the Taman Peninsula, which caused seven fuel tanks of a train traveling to the Crimean peninsula to go up in flames. Three people died as a result of the explosion, and two motorway sections of the bridge partially collapsed.
The political advisor to Ukraine's President, Mykhailo Podolyak, posted a message on Twitter, calling the blasting of the Crimea Bridge just "the beginning".
On October 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin held the Ukrainian security service responsible for the attack on the Kerch bridge, calling it an act of terrorism.
Likewise, on October 9, the Lugansk People's Republic's law enforcement agencies arrested a "reconnaissance and sabotage group" of the Ukrainian Armed Forces that was plotting "terrorist attacks" in the region's frontlines.
Just earlier today, Russian forces managed to prevent another act of sabotage at the TurkStream pipeline.
On Monday, Russia carried out strikes against infrastructure critical for the Ukrainian military, which happened to include facilities related to energy and connectivity.
Putin explained the debacle by underlining that his country would not leave without response the crimes Kiev committed against Russian civilian infrastructure, primarily the explosion that took place on the Crimean bridge.
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