Nord Stream leak probe raised fears of ‘gross sabotage’, Swedish police say

Sweden claims that a crime scene investigation of the damage to the Nord Stream 1 & 2 gas pipelines has bolstered suspicions about “gross sabotage” Sweden’s Security Service said on Thursday.

According to the Swedish Security Police, “After completing the crime-scene investigation, the Swedish Security Service has concluded that there were detonations at Nord Stream 1 & 2 in the Swedish Economic Zone that have caused severe damage to the gas pipelines.”

Officials claimed they had taken material from the site, which will now be analysed.

Authorities in Sweden and Denmark are investigating four pipeline leaks that were feared to be caused by sabotage.

Since last week’s first sightings, four leaks from pipelines in exclusive economic zones of the Baltic Sea by the Danish and Swedish authorities were investigated by the Danish authorities.

Europe is currently facing an energy crisis as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Moscow is trying to blame the West for the damage, suggesting that the United States has the advantage.

Washington denies any involvement in the standoff between Russia, Europe and other countries over gas supplies that have stopped flowing due to conflict in Ukraine.

According to security services, there was severe damage to the pipelines. They had also taken some material from the scene that would be examined. They stated that the evidence had “increased suspicions of grossly sabotage”.

In a separate statement, the Swedish Prosecution Authority stated that the area where gas was sprayed into the sea almost for a week was no longer being cordoned off.

Russia claimed that it had been informed by diplomatic channels on Thursday that it could not participate in the investigation.

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesperson, stated that there is no plan to ask Russia to join the investigation. Moscow, however, replied that it was impossible to conduct an objective investigation without Moscow’s participation.

Swedish prosecutors had Monday sealed off the area where the leaks were discovered for a crime scene investigation by the Swedish Coast Guard or Navy.

In response to the Kremlin, Sweden’s justice Minister stated Wednesday that it was impossible to allow others to participate in a Swedish criminal investigation.

Jeppe Kofod, Denmark’s Foreign Minister, told Reuters that Russia had not been told by his ministry to stop the investigation. However, a task force consisting of police officers from Germany, Sweden, and Denmark was responsible for the investigation.

Maria Zakharova spokeswoman for Russia’s foreign ministry. She said that Moscow would insist upon a “comprehensive, open investigation” that includes Gazprom officials.

Zakharova stated that it was wrong to refuse to permit the owner of the pipelines to witness the investigation because there may be something to hide.

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