Sweden closes Nord Stream gas pipeline investigation without result-Xinhua

Sweden closes Nord Stream gas pipeline investigation without result

Source: Xinhua| 2024-02-07 19:40:30|Editor: huaxia

STOCKHOLM, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Swedish Prosecution Authority announced on Wednesday that its investigation into the Nord Stream gas pipeline explosions is closed, with no culprit found.

"The investigation into gross sabotage against the gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2 is closed," the Swedish Public Prosecution Authority announced in a press release, adding that "the conclusion of the investigation is that Swedish jurisdiction does not apply."

"A large number of ship movements have been analyzed ... an extensive crime scene investigation has been carried out and several interviews have been held on the matter. Against the background of the situation we now have, we can state that Swedish jurisdiction does not apply," said Mats Ljungqvist, the public prosecutor for the investigation.

The investigation into what is considered as "gross sabotage" has failed to yield any concrete results in finding the "state actor" behind the incident after over 16 months. What's more, the authority only said that they now "have a clear view of the incident and that nothing has emerged to indicate that Sweden or Swedish citizens were involved in the attack, which took place in international waters."

"The arrangement appears to be a fairly convenient way out for Sweden," reported the Swedish Television (SVT) on Tuesday, in an analysis commenting on the expected results.

"There would have been an obvious risk that authorities and senior politicians got involved and made an already bad security situation worse," the analysis added.

Sweden has handed over "material that can be used as evidence in the German investigation," said Ljungqvist in the press release on Wednesday, adding that "the German investigation continues."

"Letting colleagues in Germany choose whether to press charges or bury the investigation for good may be the least bad way out for the Swedish authorities," said the SVT analysis.

The explosions, which took place on Sept. 26, 2022, destroyed the pipelines built to transport gas from Russia to Germany. Four leaks were discovered in the Swedish and Danish exclusive economic zones of the Baltic Sea in September 2022, and Sweden soon opened an investigation into the matter.

On Nov. 18, 2022, the Swedish Prosecution Authority said that based on "the crime scene investigations that were carried out on-site in the Baltic Sea," the pipelines had been deliberately damaged.

In February 2023, Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh revealed that the United States had partnered with Norway in a top-secret operation in June 2022 to plant remotely triggered explosives that took out three of the four Nord Stream pipelines three months later. Washington has denied such an allegation.

In April 2023, Ljungqvist said that a state actor "directly or at least indirectly behind all this" was the "absolute main scenario," without naming any country.

Sweden, Denmark and Germany have been investigating the incident separately. Russia has repeatedly called for a joint investigation, but the call has been rejected.