One of the main political and economic intrigues of recent times is sabotage on the Nord Stream gas pipelines. So far, the Swedes are conducting research there, since the emergency happened, including in their territorial waters. The Swedish security service said that an inspection of the scene found signs of explosions, which increased suspicions of “gross sabotage”. We read what the Swedish press writes about it.
“We can conclude that explosions occurred on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in the Swedish ex-clusive economic zone, which led to significant damage to the gas pipelines,” Swedish prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist said, adding that “the investigation of the crime scene has been completed.” Suspicions of sabotage under aggravating circumstances have increased.”
“I can confirm that the security police conducted an inspection of the crime scene under the direction of the prosecutor. Our security police officers were working at the site with the support of, among other things, the coast guard, Nina Odermalm-Schei, head of communications for the Swedish security police, told TT. – We also made certain finds, but, unfortunately, we cannot comment on which ones. Now we will continue the preliminary investigation, analyze the evidence and further clarify the incident.”
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson cautiously commented on the growing suspicion of sabotage. On her way to the EU summit in Prague, she said: “There is pre-trial secrecy in Sweden, but it’s good that the authorities are working intensively in cooperation with Denmark and Germany.”
Recall that on September 26, four leaks occurred on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, which run from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea. At the same time, explosions were recorded in seismic monitoring systems, testifying in favor of the version of sabotage on pipelines.
Two leaks occurred in the Swedish economic zone northeast of Bornholm – a large one at Nord Stream 1 and a smaller one at Nord Stream 2. The distance between the two Swedish faults is 1 nautical mile (more than 1.8 kilometers).
In the Danish economic zone, 2 leaks were recorded. One of them is located next to the leaks in the Swedish zone northeast of Bornholm on Nord Stream 1. Another leak southeast of Bornholm is at Nord Stream 2. Stockholm sent two Navy ships to the scene to survey the seabed in the area of leaks on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reports. In addition to the submarine rescue ship HMS Belos, the ship HMS Sturkö, which is usually used by a diving unit that clears mines and clears mines and explosives on the bottom, has been on duty since Monday. Sturkö was recently refurbished in 2020 and has several bottom survey systems on board. The ship has a towed sonar, an underwater radar that is towed behind the ship and provides images of the bottom and underwater objects. The Sturkö also has an underwater robot on board, which is controlled remotely from the ship using a tether. The robot has cameras that can take pictures of objects on the bottom, and grippers for setting explosive charges or lifting objects.
According to Dagens Nyheter, the water depth at the site of the alleged explosions is approximately 70-85 meters. And for diving, the best platform is the Swedish Navy’s submarine rescue ship Belos, which is 105 meters long – considerably larger than the Sturkö at 32 meters. The larger ship involved in the investigation is equipped with new equipment for divers to operate at greater depths. We are talking about a kind of platform descended from the ship, from which the divers then exit. In addition, Belos is equipped with two large underwater robots that can be used to explore the bottom. The Coast Guard is monitoring the area where the leak occurs. A large coast guard ship, KBV 002 Triton, is on site. The mission of this ship is to monitor gas emissions, facilitate maritime traffic, and enfo-rce the prosecutor’s blockade decision so that an in-vestigation can be carried out at the scene. According to representatives of the co-ast guard, the residual gas release in the Swedish economic zone over the past four days has not changed much and is between 15 and 18 meters in diameter.
“The information we have on Nord Stream allows us to assess that emissions are not increasing, but should be decreasing. There is no exact forecast, but we are confident in this estimate. For now, we will continue to fly over this location,” says Coast Guard spokesman Matthias Lindholm. At the same time, according to an analysis carried out by the research vessel Skagerak, the level of methane in the water around the leak on the Nord Stream gas pipeline is 1,000 times higher than the norm, Swedish radio Ekot reports. The problem of what will happen next with gas pipelines is also discussed in the Swedish media. According to international rules, Nord Stream operators may be required to submit a new application to the Swedish government to overhaul and replace pipes on damaged lines located in the Swedish economic zone. The Danish government is also expected to take a stand.
According to Swedish radio Ekot, when the government agreed to the construction of Nord Stream 2 in 2018, no provisions were made to allow anything other than maintenance and minor repairs. And now, after an alleged act of sabotage against natural gas pipelines in the southern parts of the Baltic Sea, it may be that the Swedish government will be making a decisive decision on whether to repair the damaged pipelines or not.