Swedish police say the Nord Stream investigation has found evidence of bombings

  • The Swedish Security Service says the “grave vandalism” referred to
  • Investigation shows explosions in Nord Stream 1 and 2 . pipelines
  • Russia says he did not ask to participate in the investigation

HELSINKI/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – A crime-scene investigation of Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines from Russia to Europe has found evidence of explosions, bolstering suspicions of “massive sabotage”, the Swedish Security Service said on Thursday.

Swedish and Danish authorities are investigating four leaks after pipelines linking Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea, which have become a flashpoint in the Ukraine crisis, were damaged early last week.

Europe, which used to depend on Russia for about 40% of its gas needs, is facing an energy crisis in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine that cut off fuel supplies in an ongoing confrontation.

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It is investigating the cause of the leaks at a time when Moscow seeks to blame the West, suggesting that the United States would benefit. Washington has denied any involvement.

“After completing the crime scene investigation, the Swedish Security Service can conclude that there were explosions at Nord Stream 1 and 2 in the Swedish economic zone,” she added.

The security service added that there was severe damage to the gas pipelines, and some materials were recovered from the site, which will now be analyzed. She added that the evidence “reinforced the suspicion of serious sabotage.”

Swedish Navy spokesperson Jamie Adamson said the crime scene investigation by the Swedish Coast Guard and Navy would have involved unmanned vehicles.

“The pipelines are 70-80 meters deep, and at those depths, unmanned underwater vehicles are used,” he added.

Russia said it had been informed through diplomatic channels that it had not been able to join the investigation.

“So far, there are no plans to ask the Russian side to join the investigations,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, adding that Moscow responded that it was not possible to conduct an objective investigation without its participation.

Pipeline operators owned by Russia and European partners said this week that they were unable to inspect the affected parts because Danish and Swedish authorities cordoned off the area on Monday.

And the Swedish Public Prosecution said, Thursday, that the area where the gases were released into the sea for about a week, is no longer encircled.

On Wednesday, the Swedish Minister of Justice said, in response to the Kremlin, that it was not possible to allow others to participate in a Swedish criminal investigation.

Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod told Reuters on Thursday that a special police-led force between Denmark, Sweden and Germany was in charge.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that Moscow would insist on a “comprehensive and open investigation” involving Russian officials and Gazprom. (GAZP.MM).

“Not allowing the owner (of the pipelines) to see the investigation means that there is something he is hiding,” Zakharova said.

A spokesperson for the Minister of Enterprises said the Swedish government had not received any request from Gazprom or Nord Stream to investigate the damages themselves.

Italy Storage is almost full

As European countries try to reassure consumers that they will have enough energy as the colder months approach, the CEO of energy group Eni . said (ENI.MI) On Thursday, he said Italy’s gas stockpile would be nearly full before winter.

However, the supply situation is tight, and Italy must be alert to the uncertainties that may arise in the event of a cold winter or unforeseen problems with the energy infrastructure, said Claudio Descalzi, CEO of Eni.

Last year, Italy got 40% of its gas imports from Moscow, and Eni was the largest importer of Russian gas in the country.

The head of Germany’s Federal Network Agency, which will be responsible for rationing gas in the event of a supply emergency, repeated his warning a week ago that consumption was too high.

“We will fight to avoid a gas emergency this winter without saving at least 20% in homes, businesses and private industries,” said Klaus Muller of the Bundesnetzagentur.

“The situation could become very dangerous if we do not significantly reduce our gas consumption,” he told Reuters.

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(Reuters and Sten Jacobsen report in Copenhagen.) Written by Alexander Smith. Editing by Eileen Hardcastle

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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