German Prosecutors Investigated Ship Over Nord Stream 1 and 2 Blast
The search was reportedly conducted over a suspicion that the vessel may have been used for transporting explosive devices, which exploded on September 26 last year at the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in the waters of the Baltic Sea.
They added that investigators are still trying to determine the perpetrators’ identity and motive.
No firm conclusions can be drawn yet on if the incident was state ordered. But prosecutors mentioned that employees of the German firm that leased out the vessel was not being counted as suspects.
Kyiv also denied involvement in this incident. Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov confirmed that it was not their action.
From Moscow, Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned that the story is a monstrous crime. Those who orchestrated such an attack wanted to create a massive diversion. He thinks this is a well-coordinated media campaign, Peskov mentioned in his comments carried by RIA Novosti.
Peskov complained that Russia was still not permitted to participate in the investigation.
In February, the veteran US investigative journalist named Seymour Hersh reported that the US played its role in the operation of the bombing of the Nord Stream pipelines. It believed firmly that Norway also assisted.
The White House also dismissed Hersh’s report that cited an unnamed source as a “complete fiction”.
Confirmation of the searches conducted from January 18 to 20 came after a report in the NY Times mentioned that US officials had discovered new intelligence indicating that a “pro-Ukrainian group” was responsible for this sabotage.
The government of Ukraine, however, denied the nation’s involvement in such an action, while the Kremlin also refused the Times report to be a “diversion”.
The Times report stated that the US officials had zero evidence that implied that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky was in any way linked to the pipeline bombing. It also could not identify the main source of the intelligence or the primary group involved.
Germany, Denmark, and Sweden are taking part in the investigations into the blasts that suddenly urged caution.
Boris Pistorius, Germany’s Defence Minister, said that he had gone through the reports “with great interest” but added that waiting and watching what is eventually confirmed was essential.
Ulf Kristersson, Sweden’s Prime Minister, said he’d not comment on the report, while General Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s Secretary, warned against any kind of speculations.
Four large gas leakages were discovered on the pipelines linking Germany and Russia last September, with Moscow and the West blaming one another for “sabotage”.
The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines were reportedly ruptured with subsea explosives seven months following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Times report mentioned that the intelligence observed by US officials indicated that the perpetrators behind the sabotage were opponents of Putin.
Separately, separate German media reports published late Tuesday mentioned that German investigators understand that the unidentified group comprised one woman and five men who used professionally falsified passports.
Per German reports, a yacht had been used, and it was rented out by a firm based in Poland. Two Ukrainians own the firm.
The commando group is understood to have departed from the north German port based in Rostock on September 6 2022, and was found on the following day in the Baltic, on the Danish island of Christianso.
The yacht was returned to the owner uncleaned, and investigators could find traces of the explosives in the cabin, on the table, per the report.
A heinous crime
German federal prosecutors reportedly confirmed that they had seized items and uncovered traces from the vessel they raided and that the investigation was ongoing to evaluate those.
References: Royal Gazette, Trade Wind News