Nord Stream: Russian vessel seen near pipelines before blast

AFP - [email protected]
Nord Stream: Russian vessel seen near pipelines before blast
Handout picture released by the Danish Defence Command showed what the gas leak looked like at the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Photo: Danish Defence/AFP

A Russian navy vessel specialised in submarine operations was photographed near the sabotaged Nord Stream gas pipelines shortly before mysterious blasts in September, Danish daily Information said on Friday.


The newspaper said the submarine rescue ship SS-750 was photographed in the Baltic Sea four days before the still-unexplained explosions on the pipelines that link Russia to Germany.

The ship carries a mini submarine.

"The Danish military confirmed that 26 photos of the Russian vessel were taken from a Danish patrol boat in the zone located east of Bornholm on September 22, 2022," Information said.

The prosecutor leading Sweden's investigation into the sabotage confirmed the existence of the hitherto publicly unknown photographs.

"I'm aware of the information from before... This is not new information to us," Mats Ljungqvist told AFP.

Ljungqvist said he could not comment on the photographs' significance to the Swedish investigation, noting it was "confidential".

The Danish military has not responded to AFP's request for comment.

Seven months after the spectacular blasts on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, it has yet to be established who was responsible despite criminal investigations in the countries bordering the damaged part of the pipelines - Germany, Sweden and Denmark.


The New York Times reported in March that US officials had seen new intelligence indicating that a "pro-Ukrainian group" was responsible, without the involvement of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

German prosecutors subsequently said that, in January, investigators had searched a ship suspected of having transported explosives used in the blasts.

The prosecutor leading Sweden's probe said in March it was "still unclear" who was behind the sabotage, calling it "a complex case".

"Our primary assumption is that a state is behind it," Mats Ljungqvist said.

A former Danish intelligence officer turned analyst, Jacob Kaarsbo, told Information that the presence of the SS-750 in the zone "sheds light on what was going on in the region in the preceding days."

The confirmation was of particular interest "because we know it is capable of carrying out such an operation," he said.


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