Nov. 18 (UPI) — A Swedish prosecutor investigating damage done to the Nord Stream 1 and 2 natural gas pipelines said Friday that traces of explosives were found at the ruptures, proving sabotage.
Mats Ljungqvist did not name any possible suspects but said his examination of the damaged pipelines in the Baltic Sea was “carefully documented” and that the investigation was continuing to gain more evidence.
The report did not go into detail on how the explosives may have been placed on the underwater pipelines and how they were detonated.
“Analysis that has now been carried out shows traces of explosives on several of the foreign objects that were found,” Ljungqvist said. “The preliminary investigation is very complex and comprehensive.”
Officials said large-scale ruptures in the pipelines that carried natural gas from Russia to Germany caused massive gas leaks that spilled into the Baltic Sea.
The Russian Defense Ministry blamed the British military for blowing up the pipeline last month without providing evidence. Authorities in Britain denied the allegation. Western allies have pointed at Russia, which had stopped delivering natural gas to Europe because of sanctions.
Denmark and Sweden seismologists reported tremors in the immediate vicinity of the leaks at the time of the ruptures, but none resembled those from earthquakes, essentially ruling out that possibility.
Nord Stream extends from Russia’s far western border through the Baltic Sea to Germany. Russia slowed transporting natural gas through the pipeline after European countries hit it with sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February.