A Swedish prosecutor said Friday that explosions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline were the result of sabotage.
In a statement, the Swedish Security Service said, “It is a case of serious sabotage,” adding, “the extensive damage to the gas lines as a result of the detonations have been extensively documented.”
The blasts, which occurred in September hours after a Baltic pipeline from Norway to Poland was opened, stopped the possibility of gas flowing from Russia to Germany through the pipeline.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz halted his country’s involvement in the pipeline, long opposed by Baltic and Nordic countries, following Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
What do we know so far?
The Swedish Security Service reports, “During analyzes carried out, residues of explosives have been identified on several of the foreign objects seized.”
State prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist also said traces of explosives were found on several foreign objects.
Swedish authorities stopped short of assigning blame to any individuals or nation-state.
Last month, Denmark said a preliminary investigation showed the pipeline had been damaged by powerful explosions.
What is Nord Stream?
The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines were constructed to deliver Russian gas to Europe via pipelines under the Baltic Sea connecting Russia to Germany.
Nord Stream 1 was operational whereas Nord Stream 2 was set to open on the eve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine when Scholz cancelled Germany’s final certification of the pipeline.
Four leaks were discovered in the pipeline in late September near the Danish island of Bornhold. Two of the blasts occurred in Sweden’s exclusive economic zone and two in Denmark’s.
Matthias Warnig, a former Stasi agent and Russian-based German businessman was managing director of Nord Stream AG, the Russian government majority-owned company that built and operated the pipelines. He is considered a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin from the latter’s days as a KGB officer posted to Dresden, leading to criticism that the project was also political.