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Swedish Nord Stream investigation to end soon

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The Swedish criminal investigation into the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipeline sabotage in the autumn of 2022 will likely conclude shortly after the prosecutor in charge, Mats Ljungqvist, announced that a decision would be made on Wednesday, according to Euractiv.

While Ljungqvist did not specify what kind of decision, German media have learned from several sources that the decision is to close the investigation.

The Swedish investigation has been conducted in close cooperation with the German investigation, and the German investigation would not be affected by the conclusion of the Swedish investigation.

At the end of September 2022, four leaks were discovered in Nord Stream 1 and 2, which runs from Russia to Germany at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Swedish and Danish seismic measurements showed that explosions occurred in the sea before the leaks were found.

Authorities and analysts in several countries were quick to assume that these were attacks, and two months later, Mats Ljungqvist confirmed that the pipelines had been deliberately blown up.

The gas pipelines run in international waters but through the Swedish economic zone. The Swedish Security Service has been investigating the blowing up of the gas pipelines since September 2022. But Ljungqvist has previously made it clear that the purpose of the Swedish investigation is to clarify any Swedish connection to the crime.

“The incident is a case of gross sabotage in international waters against infrastructure whose owners are not connected to Sweden. The focus of the Swedish investigation is primarily to see if any Swedish interest or security was threatened, for example, if Swedish territory was used to carry out the sabotage”, he said.

German and American media investigating the sabotage pointed fingers at the Ukrainian military. There was early speculation that Russia was behind it, but in an interview last January, Ljungqvist said he never believed that theory.

“Do I think it was Russia that blew up Nord Stream? I have never believed it. It is not logical. But just like with murder, you can’t rule anything out,” he said.

Russia has repeatedly demanded access to the Swedish investigation, which Sweden has consistently refused. Following Ljungqvist’s statement on Monday that an announcement was imminent, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov expressed his frustration.

“Russia has repeatedly asked for this information, but it has not been provided to us. As for our investigation, I cannot say anything, it depends on the results. We are, of course, waiting with interest for the judgments and decisions that will be made in this regard,” he said, according to URA.

An end to the Swedish investigation has no impact on the investigation in Germany, led by the German Federal Public Prosecutor and the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA).