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Nord Stream leaks confirmed as sabotage, Sweden says




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An explosives trace was found at the Nord Stream pipelines that were damaged, confirming that sabotage took place, a Swedish prosecutor said on Friday (18 November).

Authorities from Sweden and Denmark are investigating four holes within the Nord Stream 1 & 2 pipelines. These pipes link Russia and Germany via Baltic Sea. They have become a flashpoint during the Ukraine crisis due to the shortage of gas supplies in Europe.

Last month, Denmark stated that a preliminary investigation had revealed that the leaks were caused in part by powerful explosions.

"Analysis has been completed showing traces of explosives on many of the objects that have been recovered," stated the Swedish Prosecution Authority in a statement. They also added that the findings prove the incident to be "gross Sabotage".

The continued investigation would determine if it was possible to identify the responsible.

Mats Ljungqvist, the lead prosecutor, said that co-operation with authorities in Sweden and other countries was very good.

The prosecutor's office declined further comment on the matter, and did not say what explosives were used to cause damage to the pipelines.


Russian officials will wait for a complete damage assessment before making any repairs, Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson for the Kremlin, said Friday .

Peskov said: "The very fact that data have already begun to come in in favor of confirming subversive acts or terrorist acts... once again confirms that the Russian side holds the information," during his daily call with reporters.

"It's very important not to stop, it's very important to find those behind this explosion."

Reuters did not receive comment from Gazprom (GAZP.MM) nor Nord Stream 1 or 2.

According to Seismologists from Sweden and Denmark, they reported previously that they felt tremors near the leaks but the signals were not similar to earthquakes.

The Swedish findings were not discussed by the Danish police.

On 26 September, seabed pipeline ruptures, which emitted gas into the ocean, that bubbled to surface over the following week, raised concerns about public hazard and fear of environmental damage.

Nord Stream 1 has a section missing that measures at least 50m (164 feet). The Swedish daily Expressen reported the issue on 18 October, after it filmed what it claimed were the first images publicly released of the damage.

Russia's defense ministry claimed last month that British navy personnel had blown up the pipelines. London denied this claim and said it was made to distract from Russian military failures.

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