Nord Stream blasts confirmed as ‘gross sabotage,’ Sweden says

Sweden Europe Pipelines
In this picture provided by Swedish Coast Guard, a small release from Nord Stream 2 is seen, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022. A fourth leak on the Nord Stream pipelines has been reported off southern Sweden. Earlier, three leaks had been reported on the two underwater pipelines running from Russia to Germany. (Swedish Coast Guard via AP) AP

Nord Stream blasts confirmed as ‘gross sabotage,’ Sweden says

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Swedish investigators have found traces of explosives at the site of the damaged Nord Stream gas pipelines, prosecutors said Friday, confirming that “gross sabotage” was responsible for the string of unexplained gas leaks earlier this fall.

Swedish and Danish investigators have been conducting preliminary investigations into the four blasts, which occurred on Sept. 26 along the two main gas pipelines linking Russia to Germany.

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Mats Ljungqvist, Sweden’s lead prosecutor, said in a statement Friday that investigators had seized a number of “foreign objects” at the site that showed traces of explosive residue upon analysis.

“Analysis that has now been carried out shows traces of explosives on several of the objects that were recovered,” the Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement, adding that the findings establish the incident as “gross sabotage.”

The United States and other Western governments have not assigned blame in the attacks. The Russian government has accused “Anglo-Saxons” of sabotaging the lines.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that Russia will wait until the full damage assessment is complete before deciding what, if any, repairs it should complete.

“The very fact that data has already begun to come in, in favor of confirming a subversive act or a terrorist act … once again confirms the information that the Russian side has,” Peskov said on his daily call with reporters, according to Reuters.

Swedish officials declined to give further details Friday on which explosives may have been used in carrying out the blasts and said in the statement that it is still conducting its investigation.

“The continued preliminary investigation must show whether someone can be served with suspicion and later prosecuted,” it said.

Though neither pipeline was operational at the time, both lines were filled with gas under pressure, sending methane spewing to the surface of the Baltic Sea.

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The Swedish daily Expressen reported last month that the blasts appear to have taken out an area of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline measuring around 164 feet.

Late last month, the Swedish Armed Forces said it had returned to the site of the Nord Stream leaks in the Baltic Sea to investigate the blasts.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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