Swedish Prosecutor Hopes to Conclude Nord Stream Probe in Autumn

Illustration only - © guteksk7/AdobeStock
Illustration only - © guteksk7/AdobeStock

Sweden hopes to be able to determine who was behind the Nord Stream gas pipeline sabotage by the autumn, the prosecutor leading the country's investigation told Swedish radio.

In September 2022, several unexplained underwater explosions ruptured the Nord Stream 1 and newly-built Nord Stream 2 pipelines that link Russia and Germany across the Baltic Sea.

The blasts occurred in the economic zones of Sweden and Denmark and both countries say the explosions were deliberate though they have yet to single out who was responsible.

Mats Ljungqvist, the prosecutor leading the Swedish investigation, told Swedish Radio he had met the German prosecutor and that they were working together but declined to give further details.

"I hope that we at least this autumn will be able to make a decision regarding indictments, at least that is the ambition as things stand now," Ljungqvist told Swedish public service broadcaster SR. "I think, actually, in time, it will be brought to light (who carried out the sabotage)."

Ljungqvist did not immediately reply to Reuters' requests for comment. 

Germany has confirmed its investigators raided a ship in January that may have been used to transport the explosives used to blow up the pipelines.

German media reported the boat could have been used by a small Ukrainian or pro-Ukrainian group.

Ljungqvist told Reuters in April that the main scenario was that a state or a state-backed group was behind the attack. 

"I think that hypothesis has been strengthened during the course of the investigation," he told SR. 

Russia's invasion of Ukraine put Europe's reliance on Russian natural gas in the political spotlight and the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines has hastened the bloc's switch to other energy suppliers.

Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2, each consisting of two pipes, were built by Russia's state-controlled Gazprom to pump 110 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas a year to Germany.

(Reuters - Reporting by Johan Ahlander/Editing by Niklas Pollard)

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