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Sweden ends investigation into Nord Stream explosion, claims lack of jurisdiction

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 7, 2024 1:28 PM 2 min read
Gas emanating from a leak in the Nord Stream pipelines on Sep. 27, 2022 after explosions caused damage to the underwater pipelines. (Swedish Coast Guard via Getty Images)
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Sweden's Prosecution Authority announced on Feb. 7 that the country's investigation into the explosion and subsequent damage to the Nord Stream pipelines has concluded because Sweden does not have the appropriate jurisdiction.

The Nord Stream underwater pipelines connecting Russia to Germany were blown up in September 2022. Investigations have been ongoing since then but have yet to produce a definitive conclusion regarding the source of the explosions.

In the aftermath of the explosions, several Western officials referred to the pipe leaks as "deliberate acts of sabotage" but could not unequivocally verify that the damage was linked to Russian involvement.

Denmark confirmed in April 2023 that a Russian SS-750 vessel was photographed close to the location of the sabotaged Nord Steam pipelines.

U.K. intelligence sources told the Times newspaper shortly after the explosions that Russia was allegedly behind the attack.

Sweden's Prosecution Authority said the primary purpose of their investigation was to determine "whether Swedish citizens were involved in the act and whether Swedish territory was used to carry out the act, and thereby risked damaging Swedish interests or Sweden's security."

After finding that there was no connection to Sweden or Swedish citizens, and that the explosions occurred in international waters, the prosecutors ruled there was no reason to continue the investigation.

While Sweden's case is now closed, German and Danish investigations are still ongoing.

Some German investigators have linked the explosions to Ukraine, accusing a crew of Ukrainians of carrying out the sabotage, but did not say whether it was officially authorized by Kyiv. Ukraine has denied any involvement.

Sources with knowledge of the German investigation told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in January 2024 that they believe the attack was launched from Poland and said that the Polish government has been hesitant to provide information to investigators and withheld other evidence.

The sources also acknowledged that there was no concrete evidence connecting the Polish government or officials to the explosions but said that the perceived hesitance of Polish authorities to cooperate with the investigation was a source of suspicion.

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