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Swedish officials close investigation into Nord Stream attack

SWEDISH officials said today that they have decided to close their investigation into the September 2022 explosions on the underwater Nord Stream gas pipelines, saying they do not have jurisdiction.

Sweden’s investigation was only one of three into the explosions. Denmark and Germany are also examining the blasts.

The attack, which happened as Europe attempted to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels following the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, contributed to tensions that followed the start of the war.

The source of the sabotage has been something of an international mystery, though award-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh found evidence that showed the United States “executed a covert sea operation” to blow up the pipeline.

Public prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist from the Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement that its investigation “has been systematic and thorough.”

“Against the background of the situation we now have, we can state that Swedish jurisdiction does not apply.”

The prosecution authority said that the primary purpose of its investigation was “to establish whether Swedish citizens were involved in the act and whether Swedish territory was used to carry out the act and thereby risked damaging Swedish interests or Sweden’s security.”

Since Sweden and Swedish interests were not targeted, “Swedish jurisdiction is thus lacking,” it said.

The undersea explosions ruptured the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which was Russia’s main fossil gas supply route to Germany until Russia cut off supplies at the end of August that year.

The blasts also damaged the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which never entered service because Germany suspended its certification process shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

The Nord Stream pipeline attacks were a huge environmental disaster, with local wildlife affected and huge volumes of methane discharged into the Baltic Sea in what analysts believe could be the single largest release of methane due to human activity.

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