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A Swedish investigation into the Nord Stream pipeline leaks in the Baltic Sea claims to have confirmed that “detonations” caused the explosions that damaged the pipelines last week.
According to the Swedish Security Service, a preliminary investigation “strengthened the suspicions of serious sabotage”, The Associated Press reported, adding that Swedish authorities have seized evidence from the scene to investigate further.
Four leaks, two in each of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, were discovered last week after gas started leaking earlier this week from the infrastructure just outside Swedish and Danish territorial waters in the Baltic Sea.
Nord Stream 2 was never put into operation after Germany axed the certification process following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia, for its part, shut down Nord Stream 1 indefinitely early this month, claiming an inability to repair gas turbines because of the Western sanctions.
On Monday, Norway deployed Home Guard soldiers to protect its energy infrastructure amid growing concerns that sabotage was behind the Nord Stream leaks.
Denmark has also said the leaks were “deliberate”, reporting that seismologists had detected explosions near the pipeline just prior to the leaks.
While there is no official determination yet for the cause of the Nord Stream pipeline leaks, which took place miles from each other at the same time, Western officials believe Russia may have been involved in an attempt to increase energy price pressure on Brussels. Moscow, for its part, blames the U.S. for the alleged sabotage.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com