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Sweden Closes Its Investigation into Destruction of Nord Steam Pipeline

Sweden Closes Its Investigation into Destruction of Nord Steam Pipeline

Swedish authorities have now handed the evidence uncovered by their efforts over to German investigators.

The last time we checked into Sweden’s investigation of the Russian Nord Stream pipelines blowing up in the Baltic Sea, the Swedish prosecutors had found traces of explosives at the underwater site and declared that the incident was an act of “gross sabotage.”

Swedish authorities have concluded their investigation, but their conclusions did not offer much detail as to the cause of the destructive undersea detonation.

In Sweden, in whose economic zone the attack partly occurred, the issue remained so delicate that the nation wrapped its investigation in secrecy. It even refused to team up with its closest neighbors, Denmark and Germany, a sign of how nervous the issue was making officials in Stockholm at a moment when it is still maneuvering for acceptance into the NATO military alliance.

On Wednesday, after 16 months of closely guarding their findings, Swedish authorities finally published something — and reached no conclusion at all, at least in public. Sweden’s prosecutor said he was ending his inquiry and had turned over what it had found to the same countries with which the nation had previously declined to cooperate. German officials say their investigation is ongoing.

The Swedish inquiry began with considerable fanfare, as soon as it was clear that an act of sabotage had been responsible. The leading theory was that divers had planted underwater explosives in just the right place to do maximum damage. Because the attack took place partly in Sweden’s economic zone — though in international waters — Sweden opened a criminal investigation.

That investigation ended on Wednesday with what amounted to a press release, and no new findings. The conclusion, or rather the lack of a public one, underscored just how sensitive the issue remains.

Swedish authorities have now handed the evidence uncovered by their efforts over to German investigators.

Swedish Public Prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist told Reuters: “We have a picture of what has happened, and what that picture consists of we cannot go into more detail, but it leads to the conclusion that we do not have jurisdiction,” he said.

“It is not Sweden’s task to continue this investigation.”

Ljungqvist said the main task had been to establish whether Sweden or Swedish citizens were involved in the attack, which he said had taken place in international waters.

“The answer to that question is ‘no’ and there is nothing in this case that poses any risk to Sweden’s security now that we have seen how things stand,” he said.

…Denmark and Germany are carrying out separate investigations. A German government spokesperson said Berlin was still interested in solving the case.

Danish police said on Wednesday they expected to provide more information on their investigation “within a short time”.

Last summer, Germany investigators told the U.N. Security Council they had found traces of subsea explosives in samples taken from a yacht that it suspects “may have been used to transport the explosives” to blow up the Nord Stream gas pipelines.

… Germany has been investigating “the suspicious charter of a sailing yacht” that had been rented in a way to “hide the identity of the real charterer.” Germany was still investigating the precise course of the boat.

“It is suspected that the boat in question may have been used to transport the explosives that exploded at the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines,” the letter said of Germany’s inquiry. “Traces of subsea explosives were found in the samples taken from the boat during the investigation.”

“According to expert assessments, it is possible that trained divers could have attached explosives at the points where damage occurred to the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, which are laid on the seabed at a depth of approx. 70 to 80 metres,” it said of Germany’s inquiry.

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Comments


 
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healthguyfsu | February 10, 2024 at 6:09 pm

The Swedes found nothing conclusive but still try to definitively say that no Swedes were involved?
(Ljungqvist said the main task had been to establish whether Sweden or Swedish citizens were involved in the attack, which he said had taken place in international waters.

“The answer to that question is ‘no’ and there is nothing in this case that poses any risk to Sweden’s security now that we have seen how things stand,” he said.)

Maybe it’s a translation error but that seems pretty stupid to me.


     
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    GWB in reply to healthguyfsu. | February 10, 2024 at 6:50 pm

    Sounds to me like they figured out it wasn’t a Swede, and it wasn’t someone they could point the finger at without blowback. So give it to Mikey the Germans, they’ll prosecute it. (Or they’ll punt, too.)

Interesting that Putin told Tucker that it was the CIA just 2 days ago and

BAM

What a world..

Why isn’t the US building out its LNG industry to help european countries? Why does biden want western europe to be held hostage to russia?


 
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JohnSmith100 | February 10, 2024 at 8:44 pm

I do not see why we have a stake in this, but Biden is operating with less than a full deck. And I can see how the climent nuts might want to stop movement of petrolium products.


     
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    GravityOpera in reply to JohnSmith100. | February 11, 2024 at 3:26 pm

    Everybody has a stake in this the same as everybody has a stake in freedom of movement on the seas. We rely, directly and indirectly, on a large number of undersea internet cables, pipelines, etc. for our standard of living.

I still like the idea of an accident cause by Russian negligence in the attempted removal of a hydrate plug (as noted in an older LI piece referencing a LawDog files post). It seemed plausible and the LawDog post was rather funny. I especially liked the quite accurate description of Gazprom as “a national gas company with institutional paranoia, a Nationalised aversion to looking weak or asking for help, and a Good Idea Fairy fueled by vodka”

    Lawdog is a great storyteller and excellent writer and his theory was great right up until they announced they’d found explosive residue.

    Hydrate plugs don’t leave explosive residue behind.


       
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      Concise in reply to Sailorcurt. | February 11, 2024 at 11:08 am

      Not sure I would accept that reporting as conclusive proof of anything (sorry if I have a lack of faith in any European investigation), although even as noted in the article, sabotage is also a possible explanation. And by the same token, no one has conclusively disproved the accident/negligence theory.


       
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      GravityOpera in reply to Sailorcurt. | February 11, 2024 at 3:46 pm

      After the hydrate plugs went BOOM! Russia used their navy to plant explosives at the existing breach sites to hide their incompetence behind sabotage.

      Duh.


     
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    diver64 in reply to Concise. | February 12, 2024 at 4:36 am

    I read several articles at the time explaining what a hydrate plug is and how it could have caused the explosion. I found them a plausible explanation as blaming Russia for blowing up their own source of revenue in the face of embargo’s made little sense. The explosive residue on the mystery yacht, though, is going to need some further explanation.


       
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      markm in reply to diver64. | February 16, 2024 at 7:44 pm

      The mystery yacht that they haven’t shown ever went to the explosion site? That’s a pretty long stretch.

      Explosive residue at the site itself is different – except that it’s odd that only the Swedes found it.

So it seems we really were responsible. From the beginning, it was something that benefitted the Ukraine …. but of course they were not capable of pulling it off. And no one cared how cold those German winters are. We really do throw our weight around internationally.


 
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ThePrimordialOrderedPair | February 10, 2024 at 11:32 pm

The Swedes have announced that they’re turning over the investigation to OJ Simpson. They said that “OJ is more familiar with this sort of investigation.”


 
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not_a_lawyer | February 11, 2024 at 12:49 am

It was US Navy frogmen who blew up the Nordstream pipeline, on orders from the Biden administration.

The Baltic Sea floor is too deep and the explosives too precise for any operatives other than state actors to carry out this mission.

Biden blew it up.

Erronius

There are only a few countries with men trained to do such things and that had the motivation to do it. The idea that Russia, one of those countries with military that could get it done, would blow up it’s own pipeline that provided a steady stream of revenue never made any sense. That Europe despite it’s love of all things green would do it to themselves also made little sense.

    What he said.

    The pipeline gave Russia leverage over EU countries. As long as the pipeline existed and EU countries were dependent upon it, Russia could put pressure on them by turning up and down the tap. They’d already been feigning technical issues as an excuse to cut down the flow…why the heck would they blow them up and remove that leverage? Makes no sense whatsoever.

    So, who would benefit from Russia no longer having that leverage against the EU? Well…ultimately Ukraine, but who was fronting for Ukraine at the time?

    Cui bono?

    We did it. Obviously.


       
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      MarkS in reply to Sailorcurt. | February 11, 2024 at 8:16 am

      If Russia wanted “leverage” the could’ve stopped the flow, not destroy there income stream


         
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        GravityOpera in reply to MarkS. | February 11, 2024 at 3:36 pm

        Russia had ALREADY stopped the flow and their income stream and their leverage wasn’t working when the sabotage occurred. Therefore there was another purpose and Russia being seen as the victim of sabotage only benefits one country.

        Commercial divers capable of those depths are common. It doesn’t take special top-secret government training and equipment to work at those depths or to slap explosives on a pipe.


           
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          diver64 in reply to GravityOpera. | February 12, 2024 at 4:41 am

          There are commercial divers especially in the oil industry that could get it done but companies tend to know who they are and where they are. If it were civilian commercial divers they didn’t do it out of need for adventure. Someone paid them so who? Did Ukraine take some of the billions we have sent them of which a large amount has disappeared and use that to hire it done? Was Brandon & Co uninterested in finding out where all that largess was going pricisly with an operation like this in mind? ie. funneling money?


           
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          not_a_lawyer in reply to GravityOpera. | February 12, 2024 at 7:57 am

          Agree that there are commercial divers that can go that deep. But does Shell or Exxon have access to precision underwater explosives detonatable remotely? And even if they did, their job is oil extraction, not blowing up pipelines in an act of war.

          It was a military op.

          Erronius


 
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E Howard Hunt | February 11, 2024 at 6:55 am

Was Taylor Swift touring Sweden at this time?

They haven’t found out who did it because they don’t want to find out who did it, ala the SCOTUS leaker and the Capitol Hill pipe bomber

“traces of explosives at the underwater site” can be parts per billion found everywhere, or it can be an actual “This batch of plastic explosive produced at this plant during this date range” which is a rather wide range that is meaningless without specifics. Personally, I think the hydrate plug breaking loose and hammering the ‘bend’ in the pipeline is the best explanation so far with little Mission Impossible bomb-toting robot theories needed, BUT the funniest probability is that some agency placed a bomb, only to have the accident happen before they pushed the button. (Can you imagine the after action report?)

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