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Swedish say they found evidence of explosives in Nord Stream pipelines

In this photo provided by the Armed Forces of Denmark, a view the disturbance in the water above the gas leak, in the Baltic Sea, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. Following the suspected sabotage this week of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines that carry Russian natural gas to Europe, there were two leaks off Sweden, including a large one above North Stream 1, and a smaller one above North Stream 2. (Rune Dyrholm/Armed Forces of Denmark via AP)

Swedish officials say they have found evidence of explosives in the Nord Stream pipelines that carry natural gas from Russia to much of Europe after leaks cut off the supply earlier this year. 

The Swedish Security Service said in a statement on Friday that their investigation shows the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines have been subject to “gross sabotage” and explosive residue was found on multiple items that were analyzed. 

“In the crime scene investigations carried out onsite in the Baltic Sea, the extensive damage to the gas pipelines resulting from detonations has been thoroughly documented,” the statement reads. 

The service previously said last month that its preliminary investigation raised their suspicions that sabotage was a possible cause of the leaks. 

Seismologists detected major explosions near the pipelines before the leaks were discovered, and Denmark concluded that “deliberate actions” caused the ruptures. 

Russia began reducing the amount of natural gas it supplied to Europe months ago as its war against Ukraine continued. Experts and Western leaders have said that the Kremlin is trying to put economic pressure on Ukraine’s Western allies to end their support for Ukraine, but it is unlikely to cause their aid to end. 

The United Nations has said that the leaks, which began in late September, have caused the largest single release of methane ever recorded. Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused Western nations, without evidence, of being responsible for the leaks, a claim that they have rejected. 

The Swedish Security Service said advanced analysis is still ongoing and will take time but will eventually show if anyone can be suspected of being responsible and potentially prosecuted for the leaks. 

“The Nord Stream incidents in the Baltic Sea are a very serious matter,” the service said. “Our Service is keeping a close eye on the development and taking the measures needed to fulfil its duty to protect Sweden and its security.”

Tags Denmark natural gas supply Nord Stream Nord Stream pipelines pipeline leaks pipeline sabotage Russia-Ukraine war Sweden Swedish Security Service United Nations

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