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6 Feb, 2024 14:08

Sweden to close Nord Stream sabotage probe – German media 

An official announcement regarding the high-profile attack on European energy infrastructure is expected this week 
Sweden to close Nord Stream sabotage probe – German media 

Sweden will this week announce the end of its investigation into the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, German media reported on Tuesday.  

The update comes after Swedish prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist told the Expressen national newspaper on Monday that he will disclose a major development in the case within days.

Built to deliver Russian natural gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea, the Nord Stream pipelines were damaged by a series of powerful explosions in September 2022. Germany, Sweden, and Denmark each launched their own national probes into the incident after failing to agree on a joint effort. 

Several leading German news outlets, including Suddeutsche Zeitung, NDR, WDR and Zeit, have predicted that Sweden will close its investigation after failing to identify any suspects. The move will benefit German investigators, according to the news outlets, as Sweden will be able to share evidence with them once its own case is closed. 

Investigators are reportedly focusing their attention on a yacht named Andromeda, which was allegedly rented in Poland by a Ukrainian citizen before the bombing, and may have carried the team responsible for it, according to a working theory. 

Warsaw has been accused of stonewalling requests for assistance from fellow EU members and feeding them disinformation to scapegoat Russia, the Wall Street Journal claimed last month. 

Skeptics of the Andromeda theory have argued that the depth at which the pipelines were blown up would have made it impossible for divers lacking highly specialized skills and equipment to plant the explosives. 

American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh claimed in February 2023 that the incident was actually a clandestine US-Norwegian operation, personally ordered by President Joe Biden to ensure the EU’s decoupling from Russian energy supplies.

Washington and Oslo have rejected the allegations, although senior officials in Moscow have said they find Hersh’s reporting plausible. Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that the sabotage was “most likely” carried out by the US “or someone at their instruction.”