Leaks on Nord Stream pipelines: suspicion of sabotage confirmed

SAfter their first investigations, Swedish investigators see the suspicion of sabotage of the pipeline lines North Stream 1 and 2 hardened. This was announced by the competent Swedish public prosecutor on Thursday. “We can assume that there were detonations at Nord Stream 1 and 2 in the Swedish economic zone, which caused extensive damage to the gas pipelines,” prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist is quoted as saying in a press release. “The crime scene investigation has confirmed the suspicion of gross sabotage.”

Matthias Wysuwa

Political correspondent for northern Germany and Scandinavia based in Hamburg.

Confiscations were made at the scene of the crime, and the items in question are now being examined. Details on this were not given. “The investigation is confidential and the case is highly sensitive,” Ljungqvist said.

A total of four leaks in the pipelines were discovered last week, two in the Danish and two in the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone near the Danish island of Bornholm. Both pipes of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline were affected, through which Russia had not delivered any gas to Germany for a few weeks, as well as one pipe of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which never went into operation, but still with gas was filled.

The Swedes see themselves as responsible for investigating the leaks in their economic zone, with the public prosecutor’s office being supported by the secret service, the so-called security police, the coast guard and the navy. Shortly after the leaks were discovered, seismologists reported that several measuring stations had measured two violent explosions in the region. The Swedish government had rejected calls from Moscow to be involved in the investigation.

The public prosecutor also announced that the large-scale closure of the sea area around the two leaks in the Swedish economic zone will be lifted again. This should secure the investigation. While the two leaks in the Danish economic zone and one in the Swedish economic zone have not been leaking gas for days, the smaller leak is still leaking.

The Swedish Coast Guard announced on Thursday that the point at which the gas came to the surface of the water had hardly changed. Nevertheless, with the lifting of the blockage, the situation in the area will return to normal. The Navy has also stopped supporting the Coast Guard.

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