Germany and Sweden to investigate Nord Stream pipeline explosions without Russia

A sign reading Nord Stream 2 is pictured at the entrance to a facility in Lubmin, northeastern Germany, September 7, 2020. Authorities in Sweden, Germany and Denmark are investigating the cause of the pipeline leaks North Stream 1 and 2.

Swedish and German investigations into alleged “sabotage” that caused leaks in Nord Stream gas pipelines are moving forward without Russian involvement.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Monday that Russia would be explicitly excluded from participating in a separate, ongoing investigation into leaks detected last month in the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines. The lines were designed to carry natural gas from Russia to Germany.

Andersson said the preliminary results of Sweden’s “confidential” investigation would not be shared with Russia, with the caveat that Sweden was powerless to obstruct Russian ships visiting the area of ​​the blasts and potentially leading their own investigations, according to Reuters. .

Sweden has previously said an investigation of crime scenes at leak sites found evidence of “detonations” in pipelines and “reinforced suspicions of gross sabotage”.

The German Federal Prosecutor’s Office announced on Monday a new investigation into “unconstitutional sabotage” and “deliberate” explosions in pipelines, according to the German press agency DPA. Russia is not expected to be part of the German investigation, although no specific statement on Russian involvement has been made.

Russian involvement in the investigation was explicitly ruled out after a review of the leaks by Denmark last week, prompting Russian authorities to suggest they might launch their own investigation, according to RadioFreeEurope.

Western countries have suggested that Russia may be responsible for any sabotage behind the leaks with the intention of blaming the West. Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Western “Anglo-Saxons” were behind the leaks.

Theories that President Joe Biden was responsible have spread among some American conservatives after being promoted by Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson. Carlson’s comments also found an echo in Russian state media.

Although no pipelines were functioning at the time they were damaged – Russia shut down Nord Stream 1 in late August and Nord Stream 2 was never launched due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine – the damage caused the leakage of large quantities of natural gas into the Baltic Sea off the coasts of Denmark and Sweden.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin reportedly asked that Russian authorities and state-owned natural gas company Gazprom, which owns 51% of Nord Stream, be allowed to actively participate in the Swedish investigation last week. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said not allowing Russian participation “means there is something to hide”.

Gazprom said on Monday that a NATO-owned Seafox anti-mine drone was discovered at Nord Stream 1 in 2015. Nord Stream said last week that authorities in Sweden, Norway and Denmark were preventing the company from examining the pipelines.

Newsweek has contacted the Russian government for comment.


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