More than five months after the spectacular sabotage of Russia’s Nord Stream gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea, Germany announced that he is investigating a shipsuspected of carrying the explosives, to try to find out who the perpetrators were.
The announcement of the German Federal Prosecutor’s Office this Wednesday it is the first official step in the investigation joint court of several countries.
This was stated by the public prosecutor’s office in Karlsruhe in a statement had “registered a vessel between 18 and 20 January 2023“, with the suspicion that it could be “used to transport explosive devices” with which the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines were blown up.
On 26 September 2022, four major gas leaks were detected in these pipelines preceded by underwater explosions which unite Russia with Germany and transport most of the Russian gas to Europe.
Quickly it was suspected to have been an attackwhich has sparked speculation about who was behind this logistically complex and diplomatically delicate operation.
Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, these strategic energy facilities have been at the center of geopolitical tensions, fueled by Moscow’s decision to cut off gas supplies to Europe, in what is seen as a retaliation for Western sanctions.
Despite the searches carried out on the ship, “it is not possible at the moment to make solid statements” on the identity of the perpetrators, their motivations or the possible involvement of a state, the German judicial system specified in its statement.
An article published on Tuesday in the New York Timeswhich attributed the sabotage to a “pro-Ukrainian group”based on information from the US intelligence services, it caused a strong reaction in Kiev.
“Ukraine has nothing to do with the Baltic Sea accident and has no information on “pro-Ukrainian sabotage groups,” tweeted Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to President Volodimir Zelensky.
Data collected by US intelligence agencies suggests that the perpetrators of the sabotage of the two pipelines were “enemies of Russian President Vladimir Putin”but without the involvement of Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky, writes the New York Times.
German media detailed other elements of the judicial investigation on Tuesday.
According to the weekly Die Zeit, as well as public channels ARD AND ros, the boat that is in the crosshairs of justice was chartered by a company based in Poland “apparently belonging to two Ukrainians”.
False passports were used for the rental, according to the same sources.
The vessel reportedly left the port of Rostock in northern Germany on 6 September. with a crew of six, including divers and a medic.
They have been detected remains of explosives “on the cabin table” of the ship, which was returned “dirty” to its owner, writes die Zeit.
“Although the leads point to Ukraine, investigators have not yet been able to determine who commissioned the operation“, says the weekly.
Even the German defense minister called for caution: “I advise against jumping to conclusions,” Boris Pistorius said on Wednesday.
Similarly, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg urged to “wait” for the results of the investigations “before telling more about the authors”.
The losses occurred in international waters, off the Danish island of Bornholm and off the coast of southern Sweden.
Criminal investigations are also underway in Sweden and Denmark.
The pipelines were not operational at the time of the sabotage, but they were filled with methane gas.
The Kremlin on Wednesday rejected press reports of the involvement of a “pro-Ukrainian group”, saying it was an attempt to “divert attention” and a “coordinated media coup”.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.