Sweden confirms traces of explosives at the Nord Stream Pipeline Blast Site
Investigators investigating Nord Stream Pipeline blasts have found traces of explosive material at the site, the Security Police said on Friday, describing the incident as a “serious act” sabotage.”
Authorities from Denmark and Sweden are investigating damage to the two Nord Stream pipelines linking Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea after powerful explosions in late September led to four breaches.
Crime scene investigators have found “foreign objects” at the blast sites and after analyzing them found traces of explosives, the Security Police said. in a statement on November 18.
“The investigation shows that it is a case of gross sabotage,” the authority concluded.
More advanced analyzes are being conducted on the foreign objects to draw more conclusions about the incident, the security service said, calling the investigation “extensive and complex.”
“What happened in the Baltic Sea is very serious,” it added.
The prosecutor’s office issued one similar statement confirms that the blasts were an act of sabotage.
“The ongoing investigation will determine whether any suspects can be identified,” the agency said.
The office declined to provide further comment.
Previous suspicions of sabotage
The development follows earlier confirmation from the Security Police that evidence had been seized at the blast sites and would be analysed.
The governments of Denmark and Sweden have previously said that they suspected that several hundred kilograms of explosives were involved in carrying out a deliberate act of sabotage.
Although sabotage has long been suspected as the cause of the blasts, speculation continues to swirl about who might be behind the blasts.
The US and its European allies have denied involvement while suggesting that Russia may be involved.
The Kremlin has called such accusations “predictably stupid” because the pipelines are Russian-owned and the natural gas inside them comes from Russia.
Russia has long blamed the West for the blasts and in late October accused the British navy of blowing up the pipelines.
London has dismissed Moscow’s accusations as false and designed to distract from Russian military setbacks in Ukraine.
The cracks came amid an energy battle between Russia and the European Union amid the war in Ukraine, with the West accusing Moscow of weaponizing energy to gain leverage in the conflict.
The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines have a combined annual capacity of 110 billion cubic meters, which is more than half of Russia’s normal natural gas export volumes.
The European Union, which in recent years has become heavily dependent on Russian energy flows, is facing an energy price crisis as it struggles to replace those supplies from other sources.