The investigation into the sabotage of gas pipelines revives the race for control of the seabed

Ten days after the explosions in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, which occurred on September 26 in the Baltic Sea, in the Danish and Swedish exclusive economic zones, the judicial investigation Move slowly. Carried out with civilian and military resources by Denmark, Sweden and Germany as part of a joint team, it promises to be technically sensitive and subject to heavy pressure, as this suspected sabotage reignites concerns about seabed control in several European countries.

On Thursday October 6, the Swedish security (Säpo) thus indicated, through a press release, that the first inspections at the site of the leaks, started over the weekend, had “reinforced suspicions of aggravated sabotage”. If the Säpo did not specify what type of information it had, the investigators were able to verify that the detonations had occurred ” close ” gas pipelines, and not above or inside, as could have been said in another time. They also reported having made “seizures” to analyze. However, no suspects have been named at this stage: “The continuation of the preliminary investigation must show if someone can be implicated and then prosecuted”the statement said.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Explosions in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines: the privileged track of sabotage

While many observers are suspicious of Russia, the Nord Stream AG consortium that manages the operation of the gas pipelines and whose main shareholder is the Russian company Gazprom – the target of European sanctions – remains on the sidelines of the investigation for the time being. In a press release published on Tuesday 4 October, Nord Stream AG said that it regretted not being able to access the leak sites with its own inspection vessel, in particular due to a lack of“permissions” administrative services of the Swedish and Norwegian authorities. Russia has formally denied all allegations against him.

However, an investigation by the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, based on maritime traffic data, it indicates that the Swedish authorities would have had suspicions about possible Russian actions even before the gas pipeline explosions. In an article published on September 30, the newspaper reveals that a Swedish navy ship sailed in an unusual manner from September 22 to 24 in the future zone of possible sabotage. The journalists pointed out that this vessel, during this period, turned its AIS transponder (the device that identifies the movements of a ship) on and off several times and that it had passed from one gas pipeline to another before being sighted, on the 25th, near from Russian territorial waters, near the enclave of Kaliningrad. This information was partially confirmed by the Swedish Navy.

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