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Sweden's Nord Stream site inspection 'strengthened sabotage suspicions'

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TT/AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Sweden's Nord Stream site inspection 'strengthened sabotage suspicions'
The Nord Stream gas leak on September 29th. Photo: Danish Armed Forces

An inspection of two of the leaks at the Nord Stream pipelines linking Russia to Europe has reinforced suspicions that they were acts of sabotage, Swedish authorities say.

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"We can conclude that there have been detonations at Nord Stream 1 and 2 in the Swedish exclusive economic zone that has led to extensive damage to the gas pipelines," public prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist said in a statement, adding that the "crime scene investigation had strengthened the suspicions of aggravated sabotage."

Sweden's Säpo security police are complete with their investigation of the gas leaks at the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic sea, with the assistance of the Coastguard, the Swedish Armed Forces and the police.

"After an overall assessment, we can state that there have been detonations at Nord Stream 1 and 2," Säpo communications head Nina Odermalm-Schei told TT newswire.

"I can confirm that Säpo have carried out a crime scene investigation under the direction of prosecutors," she said.

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Suspicions of aggravated sabotage have been strengthened following the investigation, according to Säpo.

"We have also made certain finds, we are unfortunately not able to comment on what they consist of," she added. "Now we will continue the preliminary investigation, analyse the evidence and further clarify the incident."

Cordons in the area have now been lifted following a decision by prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist.

Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson was cautious about commenting on the information about strengthened suspicions of sabotage.

"There is pre-trial secrecy in Sweden, but it's good that authorities are working intensively in cooperation with Denmark and Germany," Andersson said on her way in to a European summit in Prague.

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When asked what support she expected from the summit, Andersson stated that Sweden had been well-supported by its allies in the EU and in Nato.

"We have received very good support in Sweden and from other countries," she said, "Both with offers of technical assistance, but also very clear statements from EU leaders and from Nato, and that is important in many respects."

"This is about much more than Sweden and Denmark. This is about the European energy supply."

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