Swedish officials now have evidence that may point to the Nord Stream gas pipelines being sabotaged, according to the country’s Security Service.
“Certain seizures were made during the on-site investigation. The continued investigation will show whether anyone can be suspected of, and later prosecuted for, this crime,” Xinhua news agency quoted the Security Service as saying in a statement on Thursday.
Last week, the Swedish National Seismology Centre recorded “powerful subsea blasts” around the area of the Nord Stream pipeline leaks, pushing forward the idea that the incident could be a result of targeted attacks.
The Swedish Coast Guard sealed off an area around two of the four leaks earlier this week before dispatching a Navy vessel equipped with the necessary technologies to undertake underwater surveys. The cordons encircling the region of the Swedish exclusive economic zone (EEZ) have now been removed, according to a statement issued by the Security Service on Thursday.
“We can state that there have been detonations at Nord Stream 1 and 2 in the Swedish economic zone, which have caused extensive damage to the gas pipelines. The crime scene investigation has strengthened suspicions of gross sabotage,” investigation leader Mats Ljungqvist from the Swedish Prosecution Authority said.
Russia is said to be interested in taking part in the investigations into the pipeline leaks, which are located in the Swedish and Danish EEZs. According to the Swedish Defense Minister, this is not an option.
The pipelines, which transport natural gas from Russia to Germany, are said to be “unusable forever” following the damages it sustained. Moscow is blaming the West for the supposed attack, saying that the blasts happened in territory “fully under the control” of US intelligence agencies.
On the other hand, in a joint letter to the UN Security Council, Sweden and Denmark said the blasts are “probably caused by explosions equivalent to several hundred kilos of explosives.”
Several nations have also pronounced that the leaks were “deliberate” in nature, also theorizing sabotage. Finland previously said that only a state actor could be capable of acts on such a scale while Poland is pointing fingers at Russia who weaponized its gas exports in retaliation to the Ukraine war-related sanctions it is sustaining.
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