Swedish Surveillance Vessel Visited Nord Stream Area Days Before Pipeline Sabotage, Report Says
05:50 GMT 03.10.2022 (Updated: 05:58 GMT 03.10.2022)
© Photo : Swedish Coast Guard In this picture provided by Swedish Coast Guard, a small release from Nord Stream 2 is seen, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022
© Photo : Swedish Coast Guard
The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) called the explosions on the Nord Stream pipelines, which led to “unprecedented” damage to Europe's main supply line of gas, an “international terrorist act,” adding that the so-called collective West is hiding the true perpetrators.
A Swedish Navy vessel had visited the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines area in the Baltic sea area just days before the leaks, which Russia called a result of state-sponsored terorrism.
Dagens Nyheter, one of the country's leading dailies, used a commercial service to track the ship movements, using signals from so-called AIS transmitters, which show the ship's location, but can be turned off if necessary.
According to the newspaper, the Navy's ship was in the area from Thursday to Saturday (September 22 to 24). The leaks were first discovered on Monday, September 26. Dagens Nyheter reported that on Thursday the ship was at the northern location where three leaks were later discovered. The AIS transmitter appeared to have subsequently been switched off, but was switched back on when the vessel appeared at the southern area, where yet another gas leak was subsequently discovered.
The Swedish Navy confirmed that ship had been in the area and had carried out “maritime surveillance,” but declined to comment on the purpose, citing strict confidentiality.
“Our operations at sea are subject to extra secrecy due to various events and the global situation. So we don't tell very much about what we do,” Jimmie Adamsson told Dagens Nyheter.
Commander Anders Larsson, the former head of naval intelligence, said it was normal for military vessels to turn their AIS on and off.
“When you don't need it, it's usually off,” he said. “It is difficult to draw conclusions from an individual ship movements. Navy ships often sail there, and sea surveillance takes place around the clock, all year round,” he added.
The leaks on one of Europe's main gas supply lines, the 1,224-kilometer-long undersea pipeline Nord Stream and its yet-to-be-launched successor Nord Stream 2, are being investigated by the Russian Prosecutor General's Office, as well as Swedish and Danish authorities, which said they had detected undersea explosions.
2 October 2022, 12:29 GMT
Russia called an it an “unprecedented act of state terrorism.” In an address to the nation on Friday dedicated to the entry of four new regions into the Russian Federation, President Vladimir Putin accused the “Anglo-Saxons” of sabotaging the pipelines to destroy Europe’s energy infrastructure.
The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) called the explosions on the Nord Stream pipelines an “international terrorist act”, with the so-called collective West hiding the true perpetrators.
2 October 2022, 12:29 GMT
Operator Nord Stream AG called the destruction on the offshore gas pipelines “unprecedented”, adding that the amount of time needed to rectify it was “impossible” to calculate.
Nord Stream 1, stretching from the coast of Russia under the Baltic Sea to Germany, had an annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters. The construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was fully completed in September 2021, with work on the launch being underway. However, it was frozen when Russia recognized the sovereignty of the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR), which subsequently entered the Russian Federation following referenda.