Sweden says Nord Stream pipeline sabotaged, finds traces of explosives

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BRUSSELS — The mysterious explosions in September that hit the Nord Stream gas pipelines built to carry Russian natural gas to Europe were caused by “gross sabotage” and investigators found traces of explosives, Swedish authorities said on Friday.

In a statement, prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist said the investigation carried out at the Baltic Sea site revealed several foreign objects. Also, Sweden’s security service said on Friday that “explosive residues were identified on some of the foreign items seized and analyzed”.

But the statements failed to address the main question of the months-old mystery of the blasts that rocked the continent: how the explosives were placed on the underwater pipelines and who might be responsible.

European leaders blame Russian ‘sabotage’ after Nord Stream explosions

The prosecutor’s office said the ongoing investigation will determine whether any suspects will be identified, while the security service said “the advanced analysis work is still ongoing – the aim is to draw more definitive conclusions.”

The explosions in late September shook a major pipeline carrying natural gas from Russia to Europe at a time when Moscow is using energy as leverage in retaliation for Western sanctions over the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine.

European officials were quick to call the incident “sabotage” and some have blamed Russia, although multiple investigations are underway, with Danish and German authorities also gathering evidence.

“These are deliberate actions, not an accident,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told reporters on September 27 shortly after the blasts. “The situation is as serious as it gets.”

Russia denied responsibility. The Kremlin is “extremely concerned,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the same day.

Nord Stream leak could be largest methane leak ever, but not catastrophic

Although the explosions initially raised fears of shortages, the impact on European supply was limited, especially as the European Union had already started phasing out Russian energy.

The energy crisis forced European countries to build up reserves and look for alternative sources of supply for the winter, when Russia cut power and energy prices rose. Since the pipeline explosions, EU countries have also rushed to tighten security around key infrastructure and boost naval operations.

Damage from the explosions affected part of Nord Stream 1, a major route for Russian natural gas to Germany, Poland and other European countries.

Russia stopped gas flow through Nord Stream 1 earlier this year, citing technical problems, while European leaders accused Moscow of “blackmailing” countries that have sent weapons to Ukraine to repel Russian troops.

Another leak was part of the newer Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which Germany froze earlier in the conflict shortly before the pipeline was due to go online.

Francis reported from London. Helier Cheung contributed to this report.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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