German probe into Nord Stream attack turns to Poland – WSJ
German investigators are seeking to establish whether Poland played a role in the destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipelines last September, the Wall Street Journal has claimed.
Officials in Berlin reportedly believe that suspected Ukrainian saboteurs used the neighboring country as an operational base in the run-up to the explosions.
The WSJ alleged in an article on Saturday that Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office had managed to retrace the entire route of the Andromeda yacht that was reportedly used in the operation.
The name of the vessel had cropped up in reports published earlier by several other media outlets.
According to the WSJ, German officials have now established that the yacht sailed around each of the locations where the explosions later occurred. The investigators reportedly reached the conclusion after studying data retrieved from Andromeda’s radio and navigation equipment, as well as satellite and mobile phones and Gmail accounts used by the suspects.
While the perpetrators are believed to have been Ukrainian, German authorities have also taken note of the fact that the yacht was chartered with the help of a Warsaw-based, Ukrainian-owned travel agency called Feeria Lwowa, the media outlet claimed.
German investigators reportedly suspect that the firm is a front for Ukrainian intelligence.
A van in which the suspects arrived at the German port before boarding Andromeda also had Polish license plates, the WSJ noted, citing the findings of the probe.
The outlet quoted anonymous German officials as saying that there is, however, no proof that the Polish government was involved in the plot itself.
A spokesperson for the prosecutors in Germany told reporters that the investigators were working to secure sufficient evidence to issue international arrest warrants.
Ukraine has strongly denied any involvement in the underwater blasts that ruptured the pipelines carrying natural gas from Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea.
Earlier this week, independent US media outlet The Grayzone claimed that its reporters had found a diving boot similar to those used by US and Ukrainian military divers during an expedition to the site last month.
Meanwhile, in February, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published a report alleging that the US had been involved in the plot.
While Washington was quick to deny the accusations, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in late March that he “fully agreed” with Hersh’s findings.