Swedish investigators: ‘Difficult’ to confirm who blew up Nord Stream

Swedish investigators: ‘Difficult’ to confirm who blew up Nord Stream
Опубликовано: Thursday, 06 April 2023 12:19

Sweden says it’s still primarily looking at state actors.

It will be “difficult” to confirm who was behind last year’s attacks on the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, Swedish authorities investigating the incident said.

In a statement Thursday, Mats Ljungqvist, the prosecutor leading the Swedish investigation, said his team hoped “to be able to confirm who has committed this crime,” but that the circumstances were “difficult to investigate.”

Ljungqvist said it was still most likely that a state actor was responsible for the incident. "We don’t rule out anything, but that it is a state actor who is directly or at least indirectly behind this is of course our absolute main scenario," he said.

He also cautioned that the incident had “become an open arena for different influence attempts.”

Explosions on the undersea pipelines in September 2022 caused severe damage, and triggered separate investigations in three different countries. The pipelines connect Russia and Germany.

The incident, which Swedish authorities have previously confirmed was a deliberate act of sabotage, spawned several theories as to the identity and allegiance of the culprits, with Russia, the U.S. and a pro-Ukrainian group all alleged to have been involved. The Kremlin, the White House and the Ukrainian government have all strenuously denied involvement.

“These speculations do not have an impact on the ongoing investigation, which is grounded in facts and the information which has emerged from analyses, crime scene investigations and collaboration with authorities in Sweden and other countries,” said Ljungqvist.

Sweden’s investigation was “primarily about examining if Swedish interests or Swedish security is threatened, for example if Swedish territory was used to carry out the sabotage,” he added.

Sweden is investigating because two of the gas leaks occurred in waters within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

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