Thursday, December 7, 2023
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September 20, 2023

Swedish Prosecutor Hopes to Conclude Nord Stream Enquiry by Year-end

Credit:©The gas leak at Nord Stream 2 seen from the Danish F-16 interceptor on Bornholm in late September 2022. Photo: Danish Defence

Credit:©The gas leak at Nord Stream 2 seen from the Danish F-16 interceptor on Bornholm in late September 2022. Photo: Danish Defence

The Swedish investigation into the sabotage last year of the Nord Stream pipelines is at a sensitive stage and the prosecutor hopes to decide whether to bring any charges before the end of this year, he told Reuters on Wednesday.

In September 2022, several unexplained underwater explosions ruptured the Nord Stream 1 and newly-built Nord Stream 2 pipelines that link Russia and Germany across the Baltic Sea.

The blasts occurred in the economic zones of Sweden and Denmark, and both countries say the explosions were deliberate, though they have yet to single out who was responsible.

"We hope to conclude the investigation shortly but there is still a lot to do and nothing will happen for the next four weeks," Mats Ljungqvist said in an interview.

"By conclude, I mean that we close the investigation or take a decision to bring charges against someone," he said, adding that the ambition was to reach a decision before the end of the year.

Ljungqvist said he was working with German authorities but declined to provide further comments, citing Swedish investigation confidentiality rules. 

The prosecutor told Reuters in April that a state actor's involvement in the blast was the "absolute main scenario", though confirming the identity of the perpetrators could prove difficult. 

There have been numerous theories on who blew up the pipelines and how. 

Germany has said its investigators raided a ship in January that may have been used to transport the explosives used to blow up the pipelines. German media reported the boat could have been used by a small Ukrainian or pro-Ukrainian group.

(Reuters - Reporting by Johan Ahlander; editing by Niklas Pollard and Barbara Lewis)

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