Swedish has cordoned off the area around the Nord Stream pipeline’s leaks in the Baltic Sea while the suspected sabotage is investigated, prosecutors said on Monday.
The prosecutor in charge decided to further investigate the “gross sabotage”, and it was necessary to “block off the area in order to conduct a crime scene investigation”, the prosecutor’s office said.
“The investigation continues, we are in an intensive stage,” says Attorney General Mats Ljungqvist.
“I understand the great public interest, but we are in the early stages of a preliminary investigation and therefore I cannot comment on the details of what investigative measures we are taking.”
Sweden’s coast guard announced it had begun enforcing the prosecutor’s decision to ban access to within five nautical miles (9.26 kilometers) of the pipeline on Monday.
“The ban means a ban on operating vessels, anchoring, diving, fishing, operating underwater craft or conducting geophysical surveying,” the Coast Guard said.
All four leaks, which were discovered on Monday last week, are in the Baltic Sea off the Danish island of Bornholm.
Two of the leaks are in the Swedish exclusive economic zone and the other two in the Danish zone.
The Swedish coast guard also said it could no longer observe gas from the leak on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, but bubbles from a smaller leak could still be seen above Nord Stream 2 on Monday afternoon.
Video shows the Nord Stream gas leak bubbling in the Baltic Sea – video
The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which link Russia to Germany, have been at the center of tension as Russia cut gas supplies to Europe in suspected retaliation against Western sanctions following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
While the pipelines are not operational, they still contained gas before falling victim to apparent sabotage.
Washington and Moscow have denied responsibility for the leaks.
Fourth leak reported on Nord Stream’s pipelines – video
Updated: October 4, 2022, 12:24 AM