The explosions at the Nord Stream gas pipeline were caused by sabotage, Swedish prosecutors confirm

The underwater explosions at the Nord Stream pipelines were caused by sabotage, Swedish prosecutors confirmed yesterday.

Foreign objects with traces of explosives were found on the two pipes that lie beneath the Baltic Sea.

Moscow is suspected of being responsible for the explosions on Nord Stream 1 and 2, which it denies.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, has accused both Britain and the US of orchestrating the blasts.

“The analyzes carried out found traces of explosives on several foreign objects,” said prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist, who is leading the investigation.

“The investigations are very complex and comprehensive. The further investigation must show whether someone can be served with the suspicion.”

The four blasts, equivalent to 100kg of dynamite, caused dangerous gas leaks in September, meaning a five-mile no-ship zone had to be imposed.

The two Nord Stream pipelines were built to transport gas from Russia to Germany. Since the West imposed sanctions on Moscow over the war in Ukraine, Putin has cut off supplies to Europe.

European countries have been scrambling to reduce their dependence on Russian gas since the war in Ukraine.

The sabotage came on the same day as the inauguration of a new Baltic Sea pipeline from Norway to Poland, designed as an alternative to Russian supplies and located near the Nord Stream system.

This led Norway and other European countries to increase security around their critical energy infrastructure.

In the months leading up to the blasts, Russian Navy support vessels, a warship and submarines were sighted near the Nord Stream pipelines.

Swedish, Danish and German authorities are investigating what the Swedes called “gross sabotage” yesterday. The explosions occurred in Swedish and Danish waters.

Sweden and Denmark have already submitted a joint report to the United Nations Security Council.

“The strength of the explosions was measured at 2.3 and 2.1 respectively on the Richter scale, which probably corresponds to an explosive load of several hundred kilos,” they said.

Neither pipeline was pumping gas to Europe at the time of the explosion, but both contained gas under pressure.

Flows from Nord Stream 1 to Germany were halted in August and have not resumed, which Moscow blames on sanctions.

The new Nord Stream 2 pipeline should dramatically increase Germany’s dependence on Russian gas.

The €9.5 billion project was complete, awaiting final approval from Berlin, which was denied when Putin launched his illegal invasion of Ukraine in February.

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022] The explosions at the Nord Stream gas pipeline were caused by sabotage, Swedish prosecutors confirm

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