Swedish investigation confirms sabotage of Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines

18 November 2022, 12:44 PM
REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Explosive residue was identified near the Nord Stream undersea gas supply pipelines during forensic studies of the pipelines and of foreign items found nearby, the Swedish Security Service reported on Nov. 18.

The Swedish Security Service is conducting the investigation into suspected explosions at the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines with assistance from the Swedish Coast Guard, the Swedish Armed Forces, the Swedish Police Authority and other services.

On Sept. 26, a sharp drop of pressure was registered in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, the next day the same was reported with regard to Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.

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Both pipelines lead from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea near the Swedish and Danish coasts. They were not in operation at the time of the incidents, though they were filled with natural gas.

One leak was identified at a depth of 70 meters to the southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm, just out of the Baltic Sea territorial waters of Denmark, but in its exclusive economic zone.

Other leaks were documented on Sept. 26 and 27. A fourth leak was found on the Nord Stream pipelines on Sept. 29.

Associate Professor in Seismology at the Swedish National Seismic Network (SNSN), Björn Lund, at the time of the incident said he had no doubts there had been explosions, and the damage to the pipelines was not geological in nature.

Denmark and Sweden have since claimed the damage to the pipelines was deliberate. The European Union has also said the damage to the pipelines could have been acts of sabotage.

The Kremlin denies causing the leaks in the pipelines. Commenting on the incident, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin pinned the blame for blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines on "Anglo-Saxons" – a Russian propaganda term for the United States and the UK.

Nord Stream AG, the company the operates the pipelines, said it was impossible to estimate how long it would take to repair the pipelines. Other experts have said it will probably be impossible to repair them.

The German Security Service has also said both Nord Stream 1 gas pipelines and one of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines will be unusable after the incident, the German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel has reported.

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