A Swedish agency on Thursday found that leaks from two Russian Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea were likely caused by “serious sabotage” and obtained evidence from the site. did.
Swedish security service Confirmed It claimed last week that an “explosion” had caused extensive damage to a pipeline owned entirely by Russia. Danish and Swedish seismologists have also said the damage was not of natural origin, saying the blast was the most likely cause.
“During a crime scene investigation … a seizure was made,” said the security service. “As part of the work,” the seizure will now be investigated and analyzed, it added in a statement.
“Continued preliminary investigations must show whether anyone can be accused and later prosecuted,” the Swedish Security Service said in a statement, adding that the explosion was “very serious.” “It’s progress,” he added.
The blockade around the pipeline off the coast of Sweden will be lifted now that the initial investigation is complete, Swedish officials said Thursday.
Danish and Swedish governments have previously said hundreds of pounds of explosives were suspected of being involved in deliberate sabotage.Leaks from Nord Streams 1 and 2 released large amounts of methane into the atmosphere. rice field.
Danish authorities said two methane leaks they were monitoring on the high seas had stopped over the weekend. He seems to have finished one of the leaks from Sweden as well.
European Union (EU) officials publicly suspect sabotage as the incident occurred in the midst of an energy confrontation between the EU, Germany and Moscow. But Russian officials say such accusations are “predictably ridiculous”, noting that the pipeline is Russian-owned infrastructure and that the natural gas in the pipeline is also of Russian origin.
Others have suggested that the United States or its allies were behind the sabotage attacks, although Pentagon and White House officials adamantly deny it.
Earlier this week, Jeffrey Sachs, a top economist at Columbia University, publicly speculated that the United States would gain the most from the attack because excluding Russia would allow it to sell natural gas to Europe.
Sachs also pointed to President Joe Biden’s public statements on the pipeline and comments made last week by Secretary of State Anthony Brinken that the EU represents a “tremendous opportunity” to reduce Russia’s reliance on gas.
In a statement on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said: I have written The EU countries were betrayed by America.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak recently said Russia was ready to supply gas through an undamaged branch of the Nordstream 2 pipeline, the spokeswoman noted.
“Is there anyone who claims that our country is behind this sabotage? I think it is difficult to face the truth. will have to, ”Zakharova wrote.
US not involved in ‘sabotage’
When questioned in a Fox News interview Tuesday night, White House and Pentagon spokesman John Kirby flatly denied Washington had anything to do with the incident.These claims are Russian propaganda. he claimed.
“It’s just Russian propaganda and disinformation,” Kirby said. “Now I know it was sabotage, but there is an investigation going on. But obviously this was an act of sabotage.”
No state or group has claimed responsibility for the explosion. The United States has also not accused any country of conducting sabotage attacks.
“Again, I can’t speak to specific liability for this sabotage,” Kirby said. “Of course, I can assure you that the US had nothing to do with it. It’s just Russian propaganda.”
However, later in the interview, Kirby hinted that Russia might be behind it.
Kirby told Fox News, “Look what Russia has done in the past since the last seven months of this war, and when the war began: Weaponize energy.” rice field.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.