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Sweden Ends Probe into Nord Stream Sabotage Without Verdict

  • Swedish authorities concluded a preliminary investigation into the Nord Stream blasts but found they lacked jurisdiction to continue, as the incident occurred in international waters and involved no Swedish nationals.
  • The investigation included extensive analysis of ship movements, crime scene investigation, and several interrogations but ultimately did not lead to any conclusions regarding the perpetrators.
  • While Sweden's investigation has ended, ongoing inquiries by Denmark and Germany into the Nord Stream pipeline explosions continue to seek answers to the sabotage that heightened tensions amid the Ukraine conflict.
Europe

Sweden has ended its investigation into the explosions that rocked the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in 2022, saying it has no jurisdiction to proceed.

Prosecutors said on February 7 that a preliminary investigation has given authorities "a good picture" of the incident and that nothing has emerged to indicate that Sweden or Swedish citizens were involved in the attack, which took place in international waters.

Western officials initially blamed Russia for the blasts, which all but destroyed the pipelines. Moscow blamed the West, saying it had no reason for damaging an energy link vital to bringing its supplies westward.

"The preliminary investigation has been systematic and thorough. Among other things, a large number of ship movements have been analyzed in order to understand what has happened. In addition to that, an extensive crime scene investigation has been carried out and several interrogations have been held in the matter," the Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement.

"Against the background of the situation we now have, we can state that Swedish jurisdiction is missing," public prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist said in the statement.

Two more investigations, one by Denmark and another one by Germany, are still under way.

The blasts, which occurred on September 26, 2022, on the Baltic seabed east of the Danish island of Bornholm, caused massive leaks and were seen as a dangerous attack on European energy infrastructure half a year into Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

The blasts were discovered due to the residual gas that was bubbling up to the surface.

The source of the explosions, which increased tensions that followed the start of the war, has remained a major international mystery.

Nord Stream is majority-owned by Russia's Gazprom and supplies millions of Europeans with gas.

The pipelines were built by Russia to bring its gas directly to Europe via Germany, bypassing Ukraine, Poland, and other nations that had hostile ties with Moscow. While the first pipeline was operational, the second had not gotten final approval from German regulators.

The United States had warned for years that the pipelines were a security risk for Germany and other European nations, making the countries beholden to Russian energy exports.

By RFE/RL

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Leave a comment
  • Mamdouh Salameh on February 07 2024 said:
    Swedish authorities concluded a preliminary investigation into the sabotage of Russian Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines saying they lacked jurisdiction to continue. If this is the case, then who gave them jurisdiction to start the investigations in the first place?

    It is obvious that Sweden is trying to hide the identity of the culprit when circumstantial evidence points the finger overwhelmingly at the United States.

    The culprit must have had a motive, an economic benefit and a strategic goal to destroy the pipelines. These fit the United States like a hand in a glove.

    The motive is to replace the cheap and plentiful Russian piped gas with its own LNG. The economic benefit is making Europe dependent on its LNG exports as is the case now at a price estimated to be 3-4 times higher than Russian piped gas. And the strategic objective is that since the early 1970s the United States under successive administrations has always opposed the building of former Soviet and later Russian gas and oil pipelines claiming that they pose a threat to Europe's energy security when in fact its ultimate aim has always been to replace Russian supplies with its own LNG supplies but with one difference.

    While Europe's economic prosperity since the 1970s was built on cheap and plentiful Russian
    gas , US LNG supplies have become such a huge and unbearable financial burden on Europe's economies to the extent that the EU's economic growth in 2023 was an anaemic 0.6% and is projected to grow by just over 1% in 2024.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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