Sweden rejects Russian consultations on damaged gas pipelines

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (HPD) β€” Sweden cannot share with Russia details of its investigation into underwater explosions that ruptured two major gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea last month, Sweden’s prime minister said Tuesday, citing the confidentiality of the investigations. research.

“In Sweden there is secrecy about preliminary investigations, and that applies here as well,” Magdalena Andersson said of the explosions and leaks in international waters, near Sweden’s Baltic coast and within the country’s exclusive economic zone.

The explosions ripped through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which was the main route for Russian gas to Germany until Moscow cut off supply in late August. They also damaged the Nord Stream 2, which had not entered service because Germany suspended its certification process shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine in February. The damaged pipelines released a huge amount of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

Russia had officially asked the Swedish government to participate in the Swedish investigation in a letter dated October 6.

“We are still working out how exactly we formulate the answer,” Andersson said Monday at a naval base in southern Sweden.

In its preliminary investigation, the Swedish national security agency said last week that its inquiries “have strengthened suspicions of serious sabotage” as the cause of the explosions. The Swedish prosecutor in charge of the case said evidence had been gathered at the scene.

Investigations confirmed that the “detonations” had caused extensive damage to the pipelines, according to the Swedish Security Service. Authorities have said explosions were reported in the area when the leaks were first detected near Sweden and Denmark.

“Seizures have been made at the crime scene and will now be investigated,” Swedish prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist said in another statement. The prosecutor, who was leading the preliminary investigation, did not identify what kind of evidence had been collected.

In Denmark, the authorities were silent about their investigation. Danish television station TV2 reported from the scene that there were Danish and German army vehicles in the area.

The German federal prosecutor’s office, which investigates national security cases, has also opened an investigation against unknown persons suspected of deliberately causing an explosion and sabotage prohibited in the constitution.

The process in Germany is carried out in parallel to those in Sweden and Denmark, but within the framework of the European Union.

The German federal prosecutor’s office justified its involvement because an attack on energy supplies could affect the internal and external security of Germany. Authorities said on Sunday that two German ships had set sail for the area of ​​the leaks to investigate what happened.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the West of attacking gas pipelines, something the United States and its allies have flatly rejected.

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