Traces of explosives found at Nord Stream pipelines, Sweden says

Swedish and Danish authorities are investigating four holes in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which link Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea and have become a flashpoint in the Ukraine crisis.

 PIPES AT the landfall facilities of the ‘Nord Stream 1’ gas pipeline in Lubmin, Germany: European Union nations have shrunk away from energy independence for years, groveling to projects such as Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2, says the writer.  (photo credit: HANNIBAL HANSCHKE/REUTERS)
PIPES AT the landfall facilities of the ‘Nord Stream 1’ gas pipeline in Lubmin, Germany: European Union nations have shrunk away from energy independence for years, groveling to projects such as Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2, says the writer.
(photo credit: HANNIBAL HANSCHKE/REUTERS)

Investigators have found traces of explosives at the site of the damaged Nord Stream pipelines, confirming that sabotage had taken place, a Swedish prosecutor said on Friday.

Swedish and Danish authorities are investigating four holes in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which link Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea and have become a flashpoint in the Ukraine crisis.

Denmark last month said a preliminary investigation had shown that the leaks were caused by powerful explosions.

"Analysis that has now been carried out shows traces of explosives on several of the objects that were recovered," the Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement.

"The investigation is highly complex and comprehensive. The ongoing probe will determine whether any suspects can be identified," it added.

Pipes for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea, which are not used, are seen in the harbour of Mukran, Germany, on September 30, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/FABIAN BIMMER/FILE PHOTO)Pipes for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea, which are not used, are seen in the harbour of Mukran, Germany, on September 30, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/FABIAN BIMMER/FILE PHOTO)

The prosecutor's office declined to give further comment.

Not quite an earthquake

Seismologists in Denmark and Sweden have previously said they had registered tremors in the immediate vicinity of the leaks and that the signals did not resemble those from earthquakes.

The Sept. 26 ruptures of the seabed pipelines, spewing gas into the ocean that bubbled to the surface in the week that followed, triggered warnings of public hazard and fears of environmental damage.

A section measuring at least 50 meters (164 feet) is missing from Nord Stream 1, Swedish daily Expressen reported on Oct. 18 after filming what it said were the first publicly released images of the damage.

Russia's defense ministry last month said that British navy personnel blew up the pipelines, a claim that London said was false and designed to distract from Russian military failures in Ukraine.