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Sweden Boots Russia From Nord Stream Investigation

Sweden has said it will not allow Moscow to participate in its ongoing investigation into the causes of multiple leaks in underwater pipelines transporting Russian natural gas to Europe.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said on October 10 that while Russia would not be allowed to join the investigation, Stockholm would invite a joint EU probe and Moscow was free to carry out its own inspections of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines.

"In Sweden, preliminary investigations are confidential, and this is of course also true in this case," Andersson told reporters.

Russia will be allowed to approach the site of the leaks discovered in late September because they were in international waters, albeit in the Swedish exclusive economic zone, she said.

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The four leaks to three of the four lines that make up the Russia-owned pipelines have sent tons of pressurized methane gas into the Baltic Sea and raised concerns in Europe amid an ongoing energy crisis.

Western officials have said the leaks to the pipelines connecting Russia to Germany were caused by sabotage. That has led to suspicion that Moscow was behind the incidents, similar to accusations that Russia is withholding energy supplies in retaliation to Western sanctions against its unprovoked war against Ukraine.

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Related: European Energy Market Spooked By $1.5 Trillion Liquidity Crisis

Russia on October 7 said it would consider its own investigation into the leaks of the pipelines off the Danish coast after Denmark refused to allow Moscow to participate in its probe.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has directly accused the United States and its allies of carrying out an attack on the two pipelines. The Russian Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, said on October 6 that the West was purposely creating obstacles to an investigation and that it was "unthinkable" that Moscow and the Russian gas giant Gazprom would not be able to participate.

There are the concerns that the pipelines could be permanently damaged by saltwater. On October 10, the Russian operator of Nord Stream 2 depressurized that pipeline for safety reasons.

By RFE/RL

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  • Joseph Nordstrom on October 12 2022 said:
    Sweden doesn't want Russia to be part of the investigation because they might find out who really did the sabotage and not who the US tells them to find out. At one time, Sweden was independent of the US and expressed strong opinions against American meddling in the internal affairs of the nations of the world and even accepted American draft dodgers in the 60's and 70's. Today, Sweden is about as independent of the the United States as is Iowa or North Carolina. They might as well start calling themselves a US state.

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