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What we know about the Nord Stream pipeline attack

Danish and Swedish authorities have closed investigations into pipeline sabotage, but analysts say the findings will not be made public soon.

This week, Danish investigators found that the Nord Stream gas pipeline powerful explosion It was a deliberate act of sabotage, but we do not hold any country or entity responsible.

Preliminary investigations have already shown that the damage is sabotage.

Speculation abounds as to who profited from damaging critical energy pipelines that criss-cross along the Baltic Seabed.

Military analysts in the region say the culprits are unlikely to be identified anytime soon given the heightened tensions surrounding the Ukrainian conflict.

“I think the Swedes are reluctant to share their findings right away. I don’t want to publish anything,” says Jens Wenzel-Christoffersen, an analyst at the Center for Military Research at the University of Copenhagen.

“If the announcement is made, it could worsen overall security in the Baltic Sea, which was officially called the Sea of ​​Peace, but as Sweden and Finland move closer to joining NATO, it will be called the NATO Sea. I did,” he says. TRT world.

Three of the four Nord Stream gas pipelines built to transport Russian gas to Germany and to other European countries were badly damaged.

The crew of Blueye Robotics, a Norwegian company that specializes in underwater drones, released the first footage this week of the affected section of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline as it passed through Sweden’s exclusive economic zone.

“A piece of the pipe was missing, but I don’t know how much,” said Tron Larsen, who operated the underwater drone.

“At least 60 meters of pipe were affected and I would say the steel was bent,” he says. TRT world.

He says there are clear signs of physical activity on the seafloor, indicating that Swedish investigators were already there to collect evidence.

Before war broke out in February, Russia was Europe’s largest energy partner, accounting for about 40% of natural gas consumption.

The closure of the Nord Stream in recent months has created energy shortages, gas prices have risen and winter is approaching, putting pressure on leaders in countries such as Germany, France and Italy to find alternative heat sources. .

Why don’t we jointly investigate?

Denmark, Germany and Sweden all conducted their own investigations into the attacks. Initially, there was a proposal to set up a joint investigation team, but Sweden opted out and decided to go its own way.

The Swedish public prosecutor’s office in charge of the investigation did not respond TRT worldquestions, including whether you have identified potential suspects.

The secretary-general of the Stockholm-based Baltic States Council, which also represents the interests of countries in the region, declined to answer why its members had not conducted a joint investigation.

One possible reason could be to avoid Russia, which has claimed to be part of the joint investigation team, said Carsten Rasmussen, a retired brigadier general in the Danish army.

“There is a complete lack of trust between the three Western countries and Russia. They suspect Moscow is behind this sabotage,” he said. TRT world.

A majority of the Nord Stream gas pipeline system is owned by Russian state-owned Gazprom. The Kremlin says he has no interest in destroying his country’s infrastructure, pointing out that his LNG suppliers in the US could get the most out of Europe’s gas crisis.

Rasmussen, who served as military attaché to Denmark for three years before retiring a few months ago, said the situation resembled war but reached a point where conflict could be avoided.

“Such an attack on the pipeline blurs the military and non-military spheres. It is not an act of war. It will be held outside the territory of Denmark and Sweden. So we are getting as close to an act of war as possible without actually crossing that threshold.”

what happens next?

Until the Danish and Swedish authorities release all their findings, it’s difficult to say exactly how the sabotage took place in the closely monitored waters.

“In my 37 years in the Danish Navy, I have never experienced anything like this,” said Christophersen of the University of Copenhagen.

The maritime authorities of the country located on the edge of the Baltic Sea are tracking the passing vessels.

“But it’s hard to tell what’s going on under the sea,” says Christophersen.

When it comes to security, European officials were worried even before the explosion damaged the Nord Stream pipeline. There will undoubtedly be discussions to find ways to protect undersea communication cables, electrical cables and wind turbines, he says.

“We are seeing an increase in drone activity at nuclear power plants in Sweden and offshore wind turbines in Denmark. Who flew these drones is speculation at this point. ” says Christophersen.

Thumbnail and headline photo: File photo for September 2022. (Swedish Coast Guard via AP)

Source: TRT World

https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/what-do-we-know-about-the-nord-stream-pipeline-attacks-61786?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss What we know about the Nord Stream pipeline attack

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