A Swedish agency on Oct. 6 found in its preliminary investigation that leaks from the Russian Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea were likely caused by “serious sabotage.”
The Swedish Security Service confirmed that “detonations” were responsible for the extensive damage last week to the wholly Russian-owned pipelines. Seismologists in Denmark and Sweden also have said that the damage wasn’t of natural origin, saying that blasts most likely were the cause. Evidence taken from the site will be examined.
“During the crime scene investigation … seizures have been made,” the Security Service stated. “As part of the work,” it added in a statement, “the seizures will now be reviewed and analyzed.”
“The continued preliminary investigation must show whether someone can be served with suspicion and later prosecuted,” the agency said, adding the blasts are a “very serious” development.
Now that the initial investigation is completed, a blockade around the pipelines off Sweden will be lifted, Swedish officials also said on Oct. 6.
The governments of Denmark and Sweden previously said they suspected that several hundred pounds of explosives were involved in carrying out a deliberate act of sabotage. The leaks from Nord Stream 1 and 2 discharged huge amounts of methane into the air.
Danish authorities said the two methane leaks they were monitoring in international waters stopped over the weekend. One of the leaks off Sweden also appears to have ended.
Officials in the European Union have publicly suspected sabotage, since the ruptures occurred in the midst of an energy standoff between the EU, Germany, and Moscow. Authorities in Moscow have said accusations that Russia is likely to blame are “predictably stupid,” noting that the pipelines are Russian-owned infrastructure and that the natural gas inside them is also Russian in origin.
It’s also been suggested that the United States or one of its allies was behind the sabotage attack, which Pentagon and White House officials have categorically denied.